Finding a solution for missing teeth is incredibly important, and dentures are one of the easiest and most affordable teeth replacement solutions available. However, experiencing a nagging denture issue here and there is not uncommon. The main thing to keep in mind is that the issues most commonly experienced by denture wearers can easily be overcome with proper care and fit. Here we explore four of the most common problems with dentures and provide solutions from our team of denture professionals.
Denture Issue #1: Irritation In The Gum And Mouth
Irritation in the gum and mouth is usually caused by improper fit. Some common signs your denture fit is not right include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Your dentures shift when you laugh or talk
- You have difficulty chewing
The Solution: Dentures are fitted at the time you first receive them at your dental office. If your dentures are new and you are experiencing irritation, call our office right away so we can check to see if adjustments are required. However, if you’ve had your dentures for a longer period of time, poor fit is caused by changes to your gums and bone that happen over time. Many denture wearers feel that because they no longer have teeth, they no longer need dental checkups.
However, even full denture wearers need annual checkups so we can examine your gums, bone and mouth, and make modifications as required. This keeps your fit comfortable, so you can avoid discomfort and irritation. It’s also important to note that dentures need replacement periodically due to wear and tear and changes to your mouth. We will recommend when new dentures are needed so you can enjoy the comfort of a perfect fit once again.
Denture Issue #2. Difficulty Eating And Speaking
New dentures can lead to difficulty eating and speaking because you have to adjust to their fit and feel. While this can be frustrating, we suggest patience, as it does take time to learn how to feel “normal” when you talk or enjoy a meal.
The Solution: Here are some tips to help you get used to your new dentures:
The best way to get used to eating with dentures is to ease into it slowly. Start by eating softer foods like eggs and yogurt, as they require less chewing. As you become used to the feeling of food in your mouth, you can slowly introduce more foods, taking smaller bites and chewing slowly. Also, avoid sticky foods as this can pose real issues for denture wearers.
You will eventually become accustomed to eating and can start enjoying your usual diet. A word of caution however: if you find you can’t eat the foods you usually enjoy, please call our office right away. You want to ensure your diet is healthy, and we will assess your fit to see if it might be interfering with chewing.
Speaking with new dentures can be frustrating, but it just takes practice. While you might feel silly reciting lines to learn how to pronounce words that prove challenging, it really works to help you get used to speaking with dentures. Speak more slowly until you learn how to overcome speaking difficulty and you’ll soon get the knack for it. If you don’t find things get better, call as soon as possible so we can see if you need an adjustment to the fit.
Denture Issue #3. Shifting Dentures
Shifting dentures is another denture issue related to fit. If you find your dentures shift when you talk, laugh or chew, then you definitely have an issue with fit. While it can be tempting to simply try to make adjustments on your own by using more adhesive or trying to retrofit the dentures somehow, you need to give us a call so we can see why your dentures are shifting.
The Solution: Make sure you are using a good adhesive to hold your dentures in place. A well-fitted denture should need a little bit of paste, powder, or an adhesive strip to feel comfortable and not move around. If you find you are dissatisfied with adhesives, or you need more and more due to shifting, come in to see us so we can make adjustments as needed.
Denture Issue #4. Infections Of The Mouth
Infections in the mouth are not something you can ignore. If you find you are experiencing constant mouth infections, you need to set up an appointment with us as soon as possible. As with any infection, you can find you experience growing pain and discomfort, which can be dangerous if left unchecked. Two common infections, Cheilitis and Stomatitis, are caused by yeast in your mouth which can lead to issues such as cracking and pain in the corners of your mouth, small red bumps at the top of your mouth, or redness underneath the upper dentures.
The Solution: The only way to avoid mouth infections is to follow proper denture care. We recommend our patients adopt these healthy habits:
Don’t Sleep With Dentures
You should take your dentures out every night before bed and place them in denture cleaner away from pets and children.
Proper Cleaning Instructions
Follow these steps when cleaning your dentures once a day:
- Soak your dentures in a denture cleaner overnight
- Place a towel in the sink when you are washing your dentures in the morning to avoid damage if you drop them
- In the morning, use a soft bristled tooth or denture brush to gently clean your dentures using a denture cleaner or plain soapy water
- Never use household cleaners, toothpaste, or bleach to clean your dentures
- Before placing your dentures back in your mouth clean your mouth using a toothbrush, massaging your gums, tongue, and mouth
Remove Food Debris
If you feel you might have something caught in your dentures, do not use a toothpick to remove it. Instead, rinse them gently to avoid damage. It’s important to remove debris to help avoid infections.
By using these tips, you can prevent common denture issues and enjoy a comfortable fit and good oral health.