Let’s face facts. Dentures are an artificial substitute for natural teeth that were designed to last your entire lifetime. When teeth are lost due to dental disease or trauma, dentures may be the only reasonable and affordable solution to restore both the form and function of your teeth.
Upper dentures generally gain suction that aids in their security. How lower dentures should fit often depends upon the width and depth of the jawbone that remains after extractions. Because lower dentures don’t get suction, they rely on the muscles to help hold them in place.
Well-fitting dentures are a necessity in order for many people to be able to smile, laugh, talk, and chew. Dentures that are comfortable and don’t move around are key to navigating social interactions and living your best life with confidence. When your dentures don’t fit quite right, what can you do?
Signs of Ill-Fitting Dentures and How to Make Dentures Fit Better
Dentures That Make You Gag
With upper dentures, gagging is usually caused by the baseplate extending beyond the end of your hard palate. Often gagging can cause an upper denture to break suction, allowing it to come loose. This, in turn, causes more gagging. Lower dentures that cause gagging are generally over-extended under your tongue near the back of the mouth, causing the denture to lift as you move your tongue. Usually there are simple solutions that will reduce gagging and improve the fit of your dentures.
To make the dentures fit better, visit your dentist or denturist for an adjustment. A dental professional can thin the bulk of material at the back end of the denture. They can also shorten the acrylic slightly, allowing for more distance between the end of the denture and the trigger point for your gag reflex. With simple adjustments, denture fit will improve and gagging will no longer be an issue.
Discomfort and Pain
When your denture rubs a sore spot in your mouth, it’s a sign that the denture is not making uniform contact with all of the underlying tissue. Relieving the sore spot allows pressure to be dispersed over the entire surface of the denture. Not only is the sore spot resolved and you feel better, the denture actually fits better and more securely. Your dental professional has both the materials and knowledge to adjust areas that cause your gums to be sore and has methods to resolve them, usually in one short visit.
Dentures that once fit well but have begun to slip while talking, eating, or laughing are a sign that your gums and underlying bone structure has changed. The boney ridges that originally supported natural teeth will change shape and shrink with time. This creates a situation where dentures no longer conform to the exact shape of your gums. Symptoms of ill-fitting dentures include dentures that move during function and upper dentures that lose suction easily.
To temporarily correct these ill-fitting denture symptoms, patients often resort to using denture adhesives to fill in the gaps and prevent air or liquids from getting between the dentures and their gums. These products can be messy to use and are never intended to be a long-term solution for ill-fitting dentures.
If you have reached a point where you must use denture adhesive just to get through the day, it is time to see a dental professional. If the fit is not too far from how dentures should fit in your mouth and your dentures are still in good condition, it may be possible for the dentist to reline to your existing dentures. A reline allows new denture material to be added to your existing denture in just the right places so that the dentures will fit your gums snugly once again. If you wait until you are using more and more denture adhesive with each passing day before seeking treatment, your gums have likely changed so much that new dentures are the solution to address these ill-fitting denture symptoms.
How to Make Partial Dentures Fit Better
Partial dentures can often be made to fit better with simple adjustments by your denturist or dentist. Many of the same issues that apply to full dentures also apply to partials. Partial dentures can be adjusted to relieve sore spots and pressure points, or can be shortened in areas where the partial is too long or causing gagging. Since partial dentures are secured by clasps, their fit is often improved by optimizing the retention of the clasps.
Denture Fit Solutions
When it comes to making ill-fitting dentures fit better, there are a few temporary things that you can do yourself. But for real solutions, schedule an appointment with a denture professional. The denturists and staff at European Denture Centers have the experience and knowledge to make noticeable differences that will improve denture fit, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of your dentures. Don’t let ill-fitting dentures prevent you from enjoying life to its fullest.