Dentures or false teeth are among your options for tooth loss. Unlike the ones your grandmother used to wear, modern dentures are far superior. They are not only natural-looking, but they are comfortable, as well. However, no matter how comfortable they are, it still takes a little bit of time to get used to wearing them. And that’s just one of the issues you will encounter.
Denture problems are expected. Thankfully, dealing with them is not a challenge – you simply have to know what you should do. This blog lists the six most common denture problems and how you can solve them.
Before that, let us talk about dentures.
What are Dentures?
A denture is a replacement for a missing tooth, which can be removed at any time, usually when brushing and rinsing them. You’re also advised to remove dentures when sleeping, except during the first few days of wearing them.
Dentures come in two types:
- Complete Dentures for those with no teeth left
- Partial Dentures for those who still have some natural teeth left
Complete dentures can be conventional in that they are made right after the teeth have been extracted. Once the gum tissue heals, the traditional denture will replace the missing teeth about eight to 12 weeks after extraction.
Another type of complete denture is known as an immediate denture. As the name suggests, dentures of this type can be positioned immediately after the teeth are extracted. The dentures are therefore made in advance, so the wearer does not need to wait and be toothless during the healing period.
As you can see, there’s a disadvantage with immediate dentures. Although you will not be without teeth, your bones and gums tend to change in size over time. That means you will need several adjustments for your dentures to fit perfectly. This is why dentures are considered a temporary fix until you wear your conventional dentures.
On the other hand, partial dentures typically come with replacement teeth connected to a plastic base that has the same colour as your gums. Sometimes, a metal framework is attached to the false teeth, holding them together.
6 Common Denture Problems
Whether you have partial or complete dentures, you’re bound to encounter issues, especially if you do not care for them properly. So, what are these problems, and what should you do about them?
Discomfort is normal, particularly in the early stages of wearing your dentures. It’s when you’re adjusting to your false teeth, which begins the moment you put them on. This discomfort can last for a few hours or several days. Dentures rub into the gums, which often leads to irritation and sometimes pain. It isn’t pleasant, but it should not take long for the discomfort to dissipate.
Treating this soreness is generally straightforward. Rinsing your mouth with salt water usually does the trick. You can also massage your gums to help relieve the pain. Pain medication may also be necessary.
However, if the pain persists or worsens, it’s time to head back to your dentist to make sure that nothing is wrong.
2. Difficulty Speaking
People often wonder why they cannot speak normally when wearing dentures. But it’s a common issue that can be dealt with by familiarising the muscles of the mouth and tongue with speaking sensations. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut here, so it will take time for the wearer to get used to that strange feeling in the mouth.
With practice, you will find yourself returning to how you normally speak. So, try to talk regularly or sing your favourite songs – even if you feel a little uncomfortable. That discomfort will slowly fade as your mouth and tongue muscles relax.
3. Difficulty Eating
There are two reasons why many people find it hard to eat normally after getting new dentures. One is that their mouths are simply not used to the new teeth. The other is the healing process, which is often associated with the procedure. If you had an extraction and got immediate dentures right after, you will find it even more difficult to chew food.
So, what should you do about it? Stay patient. Allow your mouth to adjust to your new set of teeth. Some foods may even cause more pain than others, so you may want to avoid them in the meantime. Your dentures may even slip whilst you eat, which can be frustrating and embarrassing. However, your mouth and gums will adjust to the dentures, meaning you can eat normally again.
The best way to prevent pain or your dentures from slipping out is to avoid certain foods during the first few weeks of getting your new teeth. Sticky and hard foods, in particular, are a no-no for new denture wearers. Try soft foods, which allow your gums to heal faster. That way, you can eat comfortably without fearing pain or slipping out of place.
4. Slipping Dentures
Let’s stay on this topic for a while. Slipping dentures is dreaded by denture wearers, especially in social situations. It happens to most people, even if the dentures are well-designed. The mouth and gums need a particular time to adjust to conform to your new set of teeth.
Since natural teeth are anchored in the gums, you don’t have to worry about slippage. Meanwhile, dentures are not kept in place by your mouth muscles, so they can get dislodged while you eat or talk, especially during the first few weeks.
New dentures take time to get used to. Therefore, you should not worry too much if yours slips out when you first get them. You can reposition them whenever they slip. However, if it has been several weeks and they still dislodge quickly, it may be time to use denture adhesives. In some cases, the only solution is to have your dentist adjust them for you.
5. Too Much Saliva
The body has a natural response to things that are foreign to it. The saliva glands tend to work harder with dentures newly introduced to the mouth. That’s why you produce more saliva than average. Don’t worry, as excess saliva is temporary. It should go away once the mouth has fully adjusted to the dentures.
You can’t do anything about this issue, although you may have to be prepared to swallow more frequently.
6. Improper Fit
Dentures can fit poorly even when measured and customised according to your needs. Ill-fitting dentures are not just a matter of pain and discomfort as they can affect your health, as well. Because of the pain, you may avoid eating healthy (or solid) foods, so you gravitate to soups and other softer options. Swallowing is also an issue that may lead to poor diet and nutritional intake.
Another problem with ill-fitting dentures is that they can make talking painful. You may soon avoid certain activities due to the pain caused by your dentures rubbing your gums. If this rubbing and pressure continue, it can result in epulis fissuratum, which is hyperplasia in the mouth, specifically on the alveolar mucosa or gingiva.
If your dentures fit well prior but later cause pain, it may be because of the natural changes in your mouth and jaw. These changes are more common in people with significant tooth loss because the mouth structure has been considerably compromised. Seniors are more prone to experiencing denture fit issues, which are attributed to certain health conditions, including:
- Elevated blood sugar, has a direct impact on oral health
- Osteoporosis can hasten deterioration of the lower jaw bone, causing substantial shrinkage
- Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy, may lead to gum swelling, inflamed cheeks and lips (mucositis), and dry mouth
- Medications that hamper normal saliva production,
The only solution for ill-fitting dentures is to have your dentist alter them, so you can live your life without being in constant discomfort and pain.
How Can a Dental Professional Help You?
Whether you have ill-fitting dentures or other problems listed above, your dentist can aid in preventing future denture discomfort. In many cases, wearers only require minor adjustments, which is why a regular trip to the dentist is still a must. However, if your dentures need a more serious remedy, here are three techniques that dentists typically use:
- Denture Relining: The denture base gets a new acrylic layer to help it take on the shape of the gums. This is a common solution if the dentures keep slipping or cause discomfort when talking and eating. If the base irritates the gums, a flexible type of acrylic layer will be utilised instead of the standard hard acrylic material.
- Denture Recasting: If adding a new layer is not good enough, rebasing is a much better option. It is useful for patients whose mouths have changed dramatically due to significant tooth loss, for example. Recasting does not require starting from scratch, saving time and money. The process involves creating a new base and then using the same artificial teeth the client has used.
- Implant + Denture Combination: Some implant types can be used to anchor dentures, giving the false teeth a solid foundation. This technique provides ample benefits, including stabilisation and movement prevention, which are essential when talking and eating. Mini dental implants work better with dentures because they are smaller compared to basic implants. A similar minimally invasive procedure applies where the mini implants are inserted into the bone. Depending on the requirements of the denture wearer, it may take up to two visits to complete this particular procedure.
Caring for Your Dentures
Warping can happen if you do not know how to take care of your dentures. As with every other dental appliance, correct maintenance is the key to ensuring your dentures last, and you feel comfortable while wearing them. Below, you will find out recommendations on how you can properly clean your dentures:
- Like your natural teeth, dentures can also have plaque and tartar. That’s why you should always clean and brush them every day.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions for denture cleaning. You will typically have a specially-designed toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the dental appliances. Don’t use regular toothbrushes and toothpaste because they generally contain abrasives that can harm the surface of the dentures.
- During the first few weeks, you have to wear your dentures even when you’re sleeping. Past that time, you should always soak them at night while you sleep, so they do not lose their shape. You can use a special cleanser, or you can simply opt for water.
- Make sure that you never use hot water to soak them.
- When not in use, store your dentures in a safe place. They can break easily if you drop them, rendering them useless even if it is just a tiny breakage.
- Make sure you visit your dentist to ensure you’re taking good care of your oral health. If you have no natural teeth and are wearing complete dentures, you should add annual exams for gum diseases and oral cancer.
Are you ready for a new smile with dentures? Consult your dentist at Chelmsford Dental by scheduling an appointment today.