Warning Signs that Might Lead to Dentures in the FutureIf you think you’re not going to be one of those people who wear dentures in their older years, think again. Dentures are more common thank you think, with more than 20 million women over the age of 40 wearing partial dentures, according to a 2009 survey by Fixodent Beauty & Aging.

The good news is that dentures are preventable if you take measures to care for your teeth. Tooth loss is something that happens over several years, which means you have plenty of time to get things right—provided it’s not too late of course.

Here are some warning signs that might force you to wear dentures in the future.

You Don’t See the Dentist Often Enough

Regular dentist’s appointments are crucial if you want to keep your teeth. And as you get older and your susceptibility to dental problems increases, a regular dental checkup only gets more important. As a rule of thumb, you should visit twice a year, or once every six months, to keep tooth decay and gum disease, the main factors behind tooth loss, away.

Your Have Red, Swollen, and Tender Gums

These signs are classic indicators of gum inflammation, which can range from mild gingivitis, the serious, full-blown periodontal disease. The bad news? They’re more common than you might think, with 70 percent of all cases of adult tooth loss caused by gum problems.

But there’s also good news. Having a bout of gum disease doesn’t mean you need to get dentures right away. In its early stages, gum disease can be staved off with simple dental cleaning and more stringent oral care at home. The key is not to leave it alone.

You Have Persistent, Severe Tooth AcheWarning Signs that Might Lead to Dentures in the Future

Tooth ache can be caused by a variety of reasons, from the common impact wisdom tooth, to tooth decay. If it’s the latter, the pain is caused by the decay already reaching the never center of the affected tooth. If you regularly visit your dentist, tooth decay can be caught and treated with fillings—a relatively minor and affordable procedure.

But leave it alone for long enough, and you just might need dentures.