Problems and Solutions

My dentures are causing pain and soreness.

There are many causes of denture pain.  This pain most frequently occurs when dentures do not fit properly, due to changes in your jawbone structure post-tooth extraction, or they are too loose and therefore continually shift about in your mouth.  Such issues will lead to pain and/or soreness.

Solution: You may need a reline of your present dentures or perhaps a new set of dentures depending on how long you have been wearing the present set.

Why are my dentures loose?

Dentures that once stayed firmly in place may begin to loosen because of changes to the shape of the underlying bone and soft tissue.  These changes result from bone resorption or shrinkage after teeth are extracted.  This is most often seen in people fitted with a complete lower denture.  In the case of a partial denture, it may become loose due to improperly adjusted clasps that can distort over time, even under normal usage.

Solution: Denture retention can be significantly improved with the insertion of permanent dental implants.  The denture will snap onto these implants and remain set in that position for any and all functions (chewing, biting, speaking, singing, etc.).  In some cases, denture retention can be improved through the process of relining.

I have trouble speaking/pronouncing words clearly or whistle when I speak.

This is usually due to the denture not being in the correct position when you are speaking.  When the denture moves/does not remain in position, the tongue and cheek must work to control the dentures, which can simultaneously prevent words from forming properly.

Solution: The use of a denture adhesive may be sufficient, or the denture might need to be relined, rebased, or replaced per a dental professional’s recommendation.  Dental implants may also be recommended, with or without the manufacture of new dentures.

Also, if you have been wearing your dentures for more than 10 years, the teeth will likely be worn, thus creating spaces between the teeth and preventing clear speech or pronunciation.

Solution: You may likely require new dentures, with or without dental implants.

I have difficulty chewing certain foods.

Some foods may never be ‘easy-to-chew’ for denture wearers, but inadequate chewing may be related to a misalignment of your upper and lower dentures, or a misalignment of your dentures with your natural teeth.  This can affect the orientation of the dentures with the soft tissues of the mouth/gums.  In combination with tissue and/or bone shrinkage, a poor alignment prevents dentures from functioning properly (chewing, biting, etc.).

Solution: Only a dental professional can determine the best solution or solutions.

I am experiencing bad breath while wearing my dentures

Because dentures are porous, bacteria can accumulate over time.  No matter how much you soak the dentures in a cleaner, bacteria will penetrate deep inside and cannot be properly eradicated.  This will cause a foul odor (bad breath).

Solution: If the teeth of the dentures are in reasonably good condition, a rebase procedure can be done or it is simply time to replace the dentures.

The corners of my mouth are cracked and/or sore.

When teeth wear down, it will cause the mouth to change the way that it would normally close.  The lips seal together differently, essentially ‘over-closing’ in a manner of speaking, and cause saliva to pool at the corners of the mouth.  The excess moisture in this area may cause the skin to become irritated and also increase the risk of a candida (fungus) infection. It is important to note that any soreness may also be the result of a vitamin deficiency.

Solution: The dentures need to be replaced in order to restore proper vertical positioning of the teeth and allow the mouth to close in a more suitable fashion.  Visit your denturist for professional advice.

My new dentures are causing mouth irritation.

Minor irritation, especially upon eating, is one of the common problems with new dentures.  As the dentures start settling into place, soreness or irritation can occur due to the hard acrylic surface of the dentures pressing on the soft tissues of the mouth/gums.

Solution: At your initial follow-up appointment, your denturist will adjust the dentures to help relieve the pressure and ease any irritation.  It may take a few follow-up appointments before your dentures fit comfortably.  If the soreness/irritation is persistent, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your denturist as soon as possible.

I have to take my dentures out when I eat.

If you have new dentures but cannot eat properly/comfortably and therefore must remove them during a meal, this may be due to a lack of suction or adherence.  In this case, you could experience regular occasions of indigestion and heartburn, and perhaps even some weight gain long-term, because your food is not being chewed properly and the body is not getting all the necessary elements of nutrition.

Solution: Having dental implants secured to the jawbone ensures a proper fit and prevents any shifting or movement of your dentures.  A combination of dentures and dental implants provide the closest functionality to having natural teeth.  With dental implants, you will be able to once again eat the foods you want and need, not just the ones you can chew easily.