DEAR DOCTOR K: My dentist says it's time for dentures. What should I know before I get them?
DEAR READER: Nearly half of Americans ages 65 and over have lost six or more teeth because of decay or gum disease. Tooth loss can profoundly affect your health and well-being. The more teeth a person loses, the more difficult it is to chew food properly and get needed nutrients. Missing teeth can also make speaking difficult and make you self-conscious about your appearance. (Below, I've put an illustration of our teeth and their functions.)