Do your dentures fit poorly? Dentures are a pain — you have to take them out every night, sometimes they make clicking sounds when you talk, or even fall out, which can be embarrassing. Dentures that aren’t fit properly hurt your self-esteem, ability to chew and peak correctly, and they don’t look great, either. But when your dentures don’t fit, they are more than just inconvenient: they’re downright unhealthy.
Why Dentures Eventually Stop Fitting Correctly
When your dentures start to fit poorly, it’s not because your dentures changed — your mouth did. Gums can shrink, and this will cause the dentures to become loose and fit poorly. Bone can shrink, too, so your jaw doesn’t line up properly. This results in poorly fitting dentures that can be a pain and also lead to health problems.
If you have dentures, chances are your mouth wasn’t healthy enough for a mouth reconstruction that included tooth replacement. The reason your mouth continues to change shape even though there are no teeth is actually because there are no teeth. Your teeth keep your jaw healthy and stable. All the blood vessels in your gums, jaw and roots of your teeth work together to keep your jaw structure stable.
When you take one or more of those variables out, bone and gum deterioration becomes a constant reality. And if your dentures aren’t permanent, poorly fitting dentures will be a recurring problem for the rest of your life. And if you don’t (or can’t afford to) replace them when necessary, poorly fitting dentures will in turn cause you more problems.
The good news is, there are several solutions to stop the cycle of replacing dentures only for them to stop sitting in your mouth correctly just a couple years later. And it can be done affordably, too, right here in our Cincinnati office.
Problems Caused by Poorly Fitting Dentures
First, what are we dealing with when dentures stop fitting well? Like we said – inconvenience, embarrassment – but there are other consequences of living with poorly-fitted dentures, too:
- Dentures that don’t fit properly can be hard on your gums, rubbing and causing a mechanical irritation underneath your dentures.
- Over time, friction can cause an inflammation in your mouth and lips known as stomatitis.
- If left untreated, this can even develop into ulcers.
- As ulcers worsen, they can leave the bone underneath your gums susceptible to infection that can affect other parts of the body.
- Chronic inflammation and infection caused by poorly fitting dentures also increases your risk of oral cancer. In fact, a number of studies have identified a link between poorly fitting dentures and oral cancer.
- Poorly fitting dentures can also cause trauma to the underlying bone, which can lead to bone shrinkage.
- Jaw deterioration can become self-perpetuating, as bone shrinkage will cause the dentures to fit loosely, resulting in further shrinking of the bone if left untreated. Bone shrinkage can also make it difficult to place dental implants. If the shrinkage becomes severe enough, dental bone grafting may be needed.
As you can see, ignoring those uncomfortable dentures is a slippery slope from clacking when speaking to ulcerative disorders and bone degradation. It’s important to visit your oral surgeon each time you start feeling like your dentures may not fit correctly anymore. Maybe you can even get a set of permanent ones next time.
The Importance of Regular Checkups for Dentures
All of these potential health risks are why we recommend regular checkups if you have dentures. A regular checkup can see how well your dentures are fitting and keep you up-to-date on when you need to have them replaced. Your oral surgeon understands the intricacies of how a jaw reacts to missing teeth, poorly fitting dentures and bone and gum deterioration.
It tracks, then, that they know how to slow any negative symptoms and design dentures that keep your mouth as healthy as possible. The more often you check in with your oral surgeon, the more likely your mouth stays healthy and you don’t have to deal with poorly fitting dentures.
No, dentures don’t get you off the hook of seeing your dentist. Regular oral hygiene is still critical because dentures require such special care. We have to ensure your dentures don’t fit poorly and are in good shape, but you should also have your dentist do regular x-rays so they can also monitor the structure of your jaw.
Properly Caring for Removable Dentures
With proper care, dentures should last a long time – possibly 5 to 7 years. Brush your dentures every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove food and plaque. You should also brush your gums and tongue. Always soak your dentures in room temperature water (not hot) or in a denture solution when you’re not wearing them.
Never try to adjust dentures yourself. Always leave this to a dentist or oral surgeon. Dentures are easy to break if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Alternatives to the Cycle of Poorly Fitting Dentures
When it comes to tooth replacement, there are numerous alternatives to dentures that naturally come with fit problems:
Titanium Dental Implants
You could get dental implants, or even a full mouth reconstruction — the most ideal alternative to natural teeth. This can get expensive, but the convenience and resemblance to your original teeth is well worth it. Dental implants also preserve the health of your jaw, stopping that shrinkage and deterioration that causes dentures to stop sitting where they should.
Ceramic Dental Implants
If you are considering dental implants, you might want to think about zirconia dental implants — a holistic option for tooth replacement. Zirconia dental implants are a transition metal; they’re technically ceramic. They are the latest advancement in dental implant surgery and are perfect if you are allergic to metal or are looking for a more natural option.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
If you need to replace multiple teeth near each other, we might consider a dental implant bridge. This is a bridge replacing multiple teeth that is attached to your jaw by two dental implants on either side. It’s a more affordable, less invasive option than having an implant installed for each missing tooth.
The New Dentures: Implant-Anchored Permanent Dentures
You can also opt for permanent dentures attached with dental implants. This is a great option if you need to replace multiple teeth that are next to each other. This option does require surgery to attach the dental implants. These are a row of prosthetic teeth held in place to your jaw by dental implants. Typically, there are 4 implant anchors for a set of top or bottom teeth.
Permanent dentures are just like your regular teeth — and there’s no need to fear your dentures falling out. Permanent dentures aren’t like full mouth reconstruction — only part of the dentures are implants; the remainder is a bridge similar to your existing dentures. And because permanent dentures are affixed to your jawbone, there is less chance they will start to fit poorly.
Oral Health Affects Your Options for Permanent Dentures & Tooth Replacement
As we mentioned earlier, if you’ve already had dentures, there’s a good chance your jaw may not be healthy enough to take dental implants properly. Sometimes, your oral surgeon can correct this with dental bone grafting and soft tissue grafting, which is great! But if not, they can still make a comprehensive care plan for your dentures that will keep your jaw as healthy as possible.
It’s difficult to know what the possibilities are with all the options available now in the field of oral surgery and holistic tooth replacement. At the end of the day, the answer to every question is: go talk to your oral surgeon – they’ll know exactly what to do.