Although dentures can be a great solution for people who are missing all of their natural teeth (or even only a few natural teeth), they can also pose unique challenges. Our mouths can change over time, and this is especially true for patients who wear dentures. This is because since the jaw bone isn’t being stimulated, patients who wear dentures lose about 1mm of jaw bone yearly. As our mouths change, dentures can become problematic and begin irritating the mouth. What happens when dentures don’t fit properly, and what can you do?
Sore Areas in the Mouth
Because of the lost bone in your jaw over time, dentures can become loose and not fit properly. When this happens, your dentures begin to rub in places that they didn’t before. This can cause sore areas in your mouth from the improper fit. If left untreated, this can cause inflammation and even infections in the mouth. When your dentures become uncomfortable and begin to rub in your mouth, it’s time to visit your dentist!
When dentures no longer fit snugly in your mouth, you can begin to have problems chewing. Loose or ill-fitting dentures don’t make it easy to chew food. You begin to chew food less thoroughly. When this happens, you can have stomach problems resulting from food that’s not been chewed enough. When your stomach needs to digest these larger food particles, indigestion can result.
Your dentures shouldn’t cause you any pain. If you find that your dentures don’t fit the way they used to, you could begin having headaches. The wrong fit can cause your bite to change in addition to your chewing habits. This could create tension in areas where there wasn’t tension before, as your jaw and teeth may be compensating for the ill-fitting dentures. If you begin having dull headaches or earaches, talk to your dentist!
When your dentures just don’t fit right, speaking can feel like a chore. You may mispronounce words or be anxious about your dentures looking askew in your mouth. Our teeth help us to pronounce words correctly and smile with confidence. When your dentures aren’t fitting correctly, you may hide your smile or avoid speaking because of anxiety or fear.
What Can You Do?
If you notice any type of change in your dentures, it’s time for a visit to your dentist! Since people who wear dentures are susceptible to jaw bone loss year after year, it’s inevitable that your dentures will change. The only way to retain your facial structure in addition to your jaw bone after losing teeth is to take advantage of dental implants. Dental implants actually encourage new jaw bone growth and never need to be replaced or changed thanks to their sturdiness and similarity to your natural teeth!
Talk to your dentist about changes in your dentures or the benefits of getting dental implants. You may even be a candidate for all-on- four dental implants, where a denture is adhered to only four dental implants in your mouth rather than getting dental implants to replace all of your teeth. Dentures can be challenging because they change over time—talk to your dentist about what you can do today!
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