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The Causes of Denture Problems

  • July 9, 2016

 

Dentures are a godsend for people who have lost most or all of their natural teeth. If your dentures fit properly and are maintained well, and if your mouth is kept clean and healthy, your dentures aren’t likely to cause problems.

Sometime, though, even dentures that have worked well for some time suddenly begin causing irritation, mouth infections, problems with speaking or eating, or may begin to move around in your mouth.

When that happens, there are two places to look: at at your dentures, and at the state of your mouth.

Handle with care.

Dentures can easily chip and fracture if they make sharp contact with another object. Any irregularity in the surface of your dentures is likely to cause irritation in your gums or the tissues of your mouth.

Using the wrong thing to clean your dentures, like toothpaste or powdered household cleansers, can roughen the surface of the porcelain. These irregularities may be very hard or even impossible to see, but over time your mouth will certainly feel the difference.

Dentures that aren’t cleaned often or well enough can also lead to irritation. Daily soaking and gentle brushing is a must.

Change happens.

You might not think so, but your gums and even your bones can change shape over time. It takes very little change for your dentures to stop fitting properly. Regular visits to the dentist to check your dentures’ fit can save you a lot of problems. Trying to adjust them yourself can cause more problems than it solves.

If your dentures slip around, even slightly, in your mouth, the movements can cause irritation. That movement is a sign that they no longer fit properly. And if they come out of your mouth when you don’t expect it, they clearly need to be adjusted.

Poorly-fitting dentures can also cause moist areas in your mouth. Yeast cells, which are naturally present in the mouth, love moisture. They’ll begin to multiply and can cause several different types of mouth infections. But dentures aren’t the only cause of yeast infections in the mouth. Prescribed drugs like some antibiotics, birth control pills, and corticosteroids can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.

If you think you might have a mouth infection, see your dentist.

Even using hot water to clean your dentures can cause their shape to change. Warm water is best. Make sure to store them overnight safely – in water or a cleaning solution, and not sitting on your nightstand.

So, if your dentures have roughened, chipped, fractured, or stopped fitting properly, visit your dentist’s office as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that problems will become worse.

Your mouth itself can be the source of problems.

Unhealthy gums don’t react well to dentures. To help keep your gums healthy, gently clean them every day, and massage them. Just like getting a back massage stimulates the tissues and increases blood flow, massaging your gums can help keep them strong and healthy.

Proper nutrition is needed for healthy gums, just like the rest of your body. Pay attention to your diet and eat a good mix of healthy foods. That’s especially important if you have other health challenges that can affect how well your body absorbs nutrients from your food.

Some foods can break into tiny pieces with sharp edges – hard candies that you bite, for instance. The tiniest nick in your gums can translate into problems with your dentures. And even food particles with rounded edges can cause irritation if they become wedged between your gum and denture.

Options

If you take care of both your mouth and your dentures, the two of your can have a happy, healthy relationship for many years. However, if you have recurring problems with your dentures, ask about implant-supported (permanently attached) dentures.

Implant-supported dentures are anchored to a number of points in the bone through dental implants, or small screws made of material like titanium. Those materials are chosen because they’re well-tolerated by your body. With the dentures permanently anchored, there’s no possibility of them sliding around in your mouth. However, your dentist can remove the dentures should the need arise.

For some people, implant-supported bridges are also an option. Talk with your dentist about which option is best for you.

No matter which one you might choose, proper cleaning and maintenance of any dental appliance is needed for a comfortable experience. And your health does and will continue to play an important role in your successful use of replacement teeth.