Upper denture problems can really undermine your self-confidence and alter the way you conduct your everyday life. What do people notice first? Your smile. If you are covering your mouth to speak or having difficulty eating in public, you are not free to be the best version of yourself. Fortunately, there are solutions to problems that you may be experiencing with upper dentures.
Common Upper Denture Problems
Loss of Suction
Take two sheets of moistened glass and place one on top of the other. Try to separate them. It is quite difficult. Your upper dentures work the same way.
An upper denture has suction because a thin layer of moisture is trapped between your hard palate and your denture. When your upper denture no longer stays in place while talking, laughing, or eating without the use of denture adhesives, it is a sign that your gums and bone structure have changed. A slight space between the denture and your palate for air to invade, which breaks the suction.
If your denture still fits reasonably well, your dentist may suggest a reline or a rebase to reestablish the intimate contact of your upper denture with your palate and gums. This involves taking an impression to add or replace the denture base with new material, allowing your denture to once again conform to the exact shape of your tissue.
In many cases, it is possible to dramatically improve the fit of an upper denture in one day, depending on if the dental office has access to an on-site laboratory.
Some patients never fully get used to wearing upper dentures because they can’t tolerate anything near the back of their mouth. This is the ultimate upper denture problem. Dentures won’t benefit you if you are unable to wear them.
With determination, it is possible to actually retrain your gag reflex so that you can wear upper dentures without gagging. The dentist may also thin and, to a limited degree, shorten the back part of the denture to reduce the bulk that may be causing you to gag. Keep in mind if too much of the denture’s palate is removed, the denture will not have suction. A loose upper denture will cause you bigger issues than gagging.
There are extreme cases where the patient cannot tolerate the denture on the palate at all. Other tooth-replacement alternatives must be considered, such as dental implants to secure a horseshoe-shaped upper denture or fixed bridgework.
Learning to eat and speak with new dentures requires retraining muscles. This takes time and patience. Many patients become easily frustrated and want to skip over this process entirely. Unfortunately, training your muscles doesn’t work that way. It is like learning to do anything else in life that is a learned skill – it takes patience and practice before it becomes second nature.
In the interim, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself. Accept that it is going to take longer to eat meals. Take smaller bites of food than usual. Distribute the food evenly to the back teeth and on both sides of your mouth to avoid dislodging the denture. Because denture teeth are not as sharp as natural teeth, they tend to mash the food requiring you to chew each bite more thoroughly to adequately break down the food.
Begin with a diet of soft foods and gradually build up to foods that are more difficult to bite and chew. Sometimes dentures need additional adjustments after they have had the opportunity to settle. Should you continue to have difficulties chewing after a reasonable period of time, check with your dentist or denturist. An adjustment may just be the solution!
Gum Sores and Irritation
Minor gum sores and irritation to the palate are often resolved with a visit to your denturist or dentist for an adjustment.
Long-standing sores or mouth infections can be the result of wearing dentures 24/7. When upper dentures are not removed for several hours each day, the underlying palate and tissue never get the opportunity to rest or be exposed to the air resulting in sores and fungal growth that becomes worse with time.
For the benefit of your health, clean your dentures thoroughly to remove debris and to prevent the formation of tartar. Then, leave the dentures out of your mouth a minimum of 4 to 6 hours during each 24-hour period.
Upper Denture Problems Don’t Have to Go Unresolved
Be assured that the clinicians and staff at European Denture Centers will go the extra mile to find a solution to your denture problems. You are not a hopeless case as you may have been told elsewhere. We have various options available, including state-of-the-art technologies, to ensure that you receive the very best fitting dentures possible!