Many people choose dentures as an effective treatment for tooth loss. Modern dentures look like natural teeth, help you to chew more effectively, and are much more comfortable than versions from the past.
Unfortunately, dentures do come with some challenges. Getting used to wearing dentures can take time, but prolonged discomfort or issues should not be ignored. Don’t worry, many common denture problems can be solved!
Soreness and irritation are common when you first get your dentures. Because your jaw may change shape after tooth extraction, dentures that fit on day one may not fit over time. A follow-up appointment will allow for adjustments as your jaw settles into a new shape. Changes in jaw shape can happen from time to time, so schedule an appointment when you feel soreness from your dentures.
Topical anesthetics, over-the-counter pain relievers, or a warm saltwater rinse can help with mild soreness. If you experience significant pain or if discomfort persists, contact our office. If dentures are rubbing on gum tissue too much, it can result in sores and damage to the gums.
You might find it difficult to speak with new dentures. Again, this is normal. You should sound like yourself after you adjust to your dentures. It can help to speak slowly and deliberately at first. Taking some time to practice speaking while you are by yourself can help. If you don’t know what to say, read out loud from a book or magazine, or sing along with your favorite songs.
Soon enough, speaking will feel completely natural. If your dentures continue to move around and make speaking difficult, see your dentist about fit.
Similar to talking, eating can be challenging with dentures, especially at first. This will get easier with time and practice as well. Begin with softer foods, chew slowly and evenly, and cut food into small pieces. Many find it helpful to chew with food on both sides of their mouth and use a drink to help swallow.
Be mindful that hot or spicy options may irritate sore gums. Avoiding sticky and tough foods while you master chewing with dentures is essential. With time, you will likely be able to enjoy most, if not all, of the foods you ate before dentures.
Dentures can move around, which can cause all of the problems listed above. This is a normal occurrence with new dentures, and as you get used to them, they should slip less. However, slipping can be a sign that dentures are not fitted properly, so it is a good idea to schedule an appointment. You may want to try using a denture adhesive to hold them in place or consider dentures secured with implants.
Clean your gums and dentures separately and thoroughly. You can soak dentures overnight and should brush them with denture cleaner or mild soap (not regular toothpaste). Take care when cleaning your dentures, as it can be easy for them to slip and become damaged. Placing a soft towel over the countertop or in the sink as you clean them can help cushion them if they fall.
Not cleaning your mouth and dentures well, or sleeping in your dentures, can lead to bacterial or yeast infections of the gums. Redness, white patches, pain, and swelling may indicate an infection. Make an appointment right away, as these infections are treatable. Professional treatment is important to clear these conditions up quickly and ensure they do not get worse, but good oral and denture cleaning routines will be an important part of the process.
Remember to be patient. Getting used to dentures may take time, and you may have to visit your dentist for adjustments until the fit is right.
If problems persist, there are still options. An excellent possibility is pairing dentures with implants. All-on-4 Implants permanently affix dentures to anchors that are implanted into the jaw. This option removes issues with fit and slipping and improves overall function. To find out more about denture implants, contact our office today!