Denture Problems: Solved!
If you’ve lost teeth to decay or injury, dentures allow you to rebuild your smile — and enable you to speak and eat like you did before. However, dentures don’t always work exactly as intended, and you may find yourself with a few problems that need addressing. Here are some of the most common problems people face with dentures, and how to address them.
Problem: Your mouth is too swollen after the tooth extraction for a proper denture fitting.
Solution: Temporary dentures can bridge the gap. Your dentist can fit you for a set of “immediate dentures” before you even have your teeth removed, and they’ll help you maintain spacing.
This more temporary version of the complete denture is measured for and fitted even before the natural teeth are removed and can be worn immediately after the extraction is completed and throughout the healing process. Because the gums and jaw bone shift and change shape as the area heals, these dentures can become loose and ill fitting, and so they may need to be relined or adjusted to fit properly. Often, these are replaced after the gums are healed with more permanent conventional dentures.
Problem: The dentures that fit perfectly a year or so ago have started feeling loose.
Solution: Visit your dentist for an assessment. Your gums will change shape and recede over time, which will make dentures that once fit perfectly feel loose in your mouth. You should make an appointment with your dentist to assess the fit. The dentures may need to be relined or adjusted to get a secure hold — or you may need a whole new set of false teeth. (Most doctors recommend replacing a set every five to seven years.)
Do not rely on denture adhesives to make up for a loose-fitting denture. That may result in the use of too much adhesive and can cause damage to your jaws and gums, including inflammation and bone loss. Too much dental adhesive has also been shown to create a condition called zinc toxicity, which can lead to numbness in your arms and legs or even blockages in your digestive system.
Problem: It’s hard to talk in your dentures.
Solution: Practice, practice, practice. The dentures may feel foreign in your mouth, and their placement may interfere with how you normally move your tongue and mouth when you talk. If you’re finding that your false teeth create a lisp or other speech issue, practice speaking words with that sound in them, over and over, to help your mouth get used to forming those words in the new way. You’ll be speaking perfectly again in no time.
Problem: Your new dentures are rubbing against your gums and making them sore.
Solution: Give it time. Often, your gums and jaws need to adjust to the dentures, so you may get some soreness initially. If the soreness continues, your dentist can make adjustments to your dentures to minimize any rubbing or pinching that’s causing the pain.
However, if dentures that weren’t causing any pain suddenly start creating sores in your mouth, the odds are that your false teeth need some adjustments to make them comfortable again.
Problem: You’re having a hard time eating food with your dentures.
Solution: Start with soft foods. As you’re adjusting to new dentures, you’ll probably find that eating tougher foods will be difficult. Start with soft foods or foods cut extremely small, and work your way up to your usual diet as you become adjusted to your new dentures.
If dentures you’ve had for a while start causing troubles, it’s time to see your dentist to ensure that your dentures fit correctly and make adjustments as needed.
Problem: Your dentures make a clicking sound.
Solution: Consider a little adhesive. If your dentures seem secure otherwise, this could be due to dry mouth, which can affect how well your denture holds to your jaw. A small amount of dental adhesive may be all you need to stop the clicking.
However, if you’re experiencing slipping, continued difficulty eating or speaking or soreness, it may mean your dentures need to be relined or rebased — or replaced altogether. See your dentist for an assessment.
Problem: You dropped your dentures in the sink and they broke.
Solution: Take precautions with your teeth. Whether they’re made of porcelain or plastic, dropping, placing weight on them or even allowing your false teeth to dry off could cause them to warp or even break. To avoid having that happen, make sure that your teeth are always in water or a cleaning solution when they’re out of your mouth to help keep them moist, and place a soft towel in the bottom of the sink when you’re cleaning and handling your dentures to ensure that the blow is cushioned if the denture slips from your hands.