We can’t stress enough how important it is to find a solution for lost teeth. Dentures are a popular choice among patients, yet denture problems are not uncommon. Here’s a list of the top 4 denture problems patients often face, and what you can do about them.
Four Common Denture Problems
When it comes to denture problems, statistics show that about 95% of patients are dissatisfied with varying aspects of their current dentures, and their issues seem to fall into one or more of these four categories:
- Irritation in the gums and mouth
- Difficulty eating and speaking
- Shifting dentures
- Infections of the mouth
If any of these denture problems sound familiar, there are ways to avoid them and make wearing dentures more comfortable.
1. Irritation In The Gums And Mouth
It all starts with having a proper fit for your dentures. While you might find your dentures were perfectly comfortable when you first got them, unfortunately over time, changes to your gums and bone will interfere with a tight fit. This is why it is so important to visit our office for regular checkups even if you have full dentures. We can look for changes to bone and gums, then adjust and make modifications.
However, another important thing to keep in mind is that dentures are not intended to last forever. They require replacing about every five years or so to adjust to changes in your jaw and gums. Replacements also take care of regular wear and tear that can interfere with the fit of your dentures. Some common signs your dentures need adjusting or replacing include:
- Shifting when you speak or laugh
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain or discomfort
2. Difficulty Eating And Speaking
If you are new to dentures, you may find it challenging to both eat and speak the way you are used to. This may be frustrating, but a period of adjustment is normal as you get used to your new teeth. However, if these eating and speaking challenges continue, come see us for an assessment of the fit. In the meantime, here are some tips to help ease you through the adjustment period.
Eat The Right Foods
Wearing dentures unfortunately often means some changes to your diet. If you find your dentures move or come out when you eat, again we need to adjust the fit. However, you can also use these tips to help you learn to eat naturally with your dentures:
- Eat soft foods like yogurt and eggs at first as they require less chewing
- Take smaller bites and chew carefully
- Avoid sticky foods
- Chew slowly
Chew your food on both sides, instead of keeping food on one side, to prevent dentures from “tipping” while you eat
You will slowly get used to eating and can begin to enjoy almost any food. If you find that eating difficulties continue it is very important to speak to us right away. You can’t allow your dentures to keep you from enjoying a healthy diet with healthy foods, like crisp fresh fruits and vegetables, or proteins like meat and fish that might be difficult to chew.
Adjust To Speaking
If your dentures are new and you find it difficult to speak, you are simply going through a period of adjustment. This can become frustrating and sometimes you might be tempted to just take your dentures out. Give yourself time to get used to the feel and try speaking more slowly. You will eventually learn how to overcome speech challenges. It actually takes some practice, so be patient. If difficulty continues, give us a call and we can check the fit.
3. Shifting Dentures
When fit properly, dentures shouldn’t shift when eating or talking. If you are experiencing shifting, something is off and needs to be corrected by your dental team.
Many denture wearers can’t be bothered to visit their dentist to inquire about their denture problems. If this sounds like you, the worst thing you can do is try to adjust your dentures yourself. Even trying to retrofit them to stay put using more adhesives, whether it is strips, powders or pastes, can lead to more issues. Always speak to our team as soon as you notice changes to fit.
Find A Good Adhesive
While adhesives shouldn’t be used to fix dentures, they are needed to keep your dentures comfortable and in place. There are many different products available, and you need just a small amount to secure your dentures. If you need more, your fit is off. Give us a call so we can see if adjustments are required.
4. Infections Of The Mouth
If you find you are experiencing constant mouth infections, you should speak to our team right away. Infections can be painful and dangerous, often requiring medication. Common infections include Cheilitis and Stomatitis, caused by an overgrowth of yeast. Symptoms vary from cracked, painful corners of the mouth, to small red bumps on the roof of your mouth, or redness below your upper dentures. You can avoid mouth infections by taking proper care of your dentures with these tips:
- Take dentures out at night: Wearing dentures at night can lead to infections due to bacteria build-up and irritation.
- Be careful when handling your dentures: Small damage to your dentures can lead to fit issues and infections. When washing them, place a towel in the sink so that if you drop them, they land on a soft surface.
- Store them safely: When you take your dentures out, keep them away from pets and children and soak them in a denture cleaner.
- Clean your dentures: Dentures must be cleaned once a day. The easiest cleaning process is to soak them in a denture cleaner overnight and then clean them thoroughly with a soft-bristled tooth or denture brush in the morning. Use a denture cleaner or plain soapy water, but never use household cleaners, toothpaste, or bleach.
- Clean your mouth: Use a toothbrush to massage and clean your gums, tongue, and mouth each day before you put your dentures in to help remove bacteria.
One other little tip: Don’t use toothpicks to remove food from your dentures. Instead, take them out and rinse them, as otherwise you might damage them.
The key to avoiding denture problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Be sure to visit our office for regular dental checkups and maintain a good oral hygiene regime to keep your dentures and mouth clean and healthy.