Have you been struggling with your new dentures? Are you uncomfortable eating with them? Have they created sores in your mouth? Do they no longer fit properly? These are all common denture problems that you can resolve with the help of your dentist.
Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of assuming that they can eliminate all their dental problems by having their teeth removed and replaced with dentures. As most denture wearers will tell you, this idea is far-fetched. In reality, dentures can create a whole new set of problems. It’s important that you continue visiting your dentist regularly after receiving dentures so that you can discuss your concerns, receive advice, and schedule appointments to have your dentures refit to your changing mouth.
Common Denture Problems
Struggling to Eat
First, it’s important to understand that eating will take longer with dentures. You can only apply about 15 to 20 percent of your typical chewing force when you’re chewing with dentures, so get used to spending a little extra time at the dinner table. Plus, many foods are more difficult to eat with dentures, including foods that are crucial for your overall health, like fruits and vegetables.
You may also notice you’re not tasting food as well as you once did. This is because upper dentures cover the few taste buds on the roof of the mouth. Luckily, the vast majority of taste buds are located on the tip and edges of the tongue, so dentures shouldn’t affect them.
If you wear upper dentures, you may experience a gagging sensation at first. Unfortunately, some people with sensitive gag reflexes find dentures impossible to wear.
The tissues of the human mouth are not used to having plastic continually rubbing against them. So when you first begin wearing dentures, you may notice sore spots developing in your mouth. As your mouth adjusts to the dentures, these sore spots should fade away. However, if the sore spots persist, you may need to visit your dentist to have your dentures adjusted.
Of all these common denture problems, the most serious is the loss of jawbone. When teeth are missing from the mouth, the jawbone does not receive the stimulation it requires from chewing, which causes the bone to shrink. And as the jawbone shrinks, the dentures will become loose in the mouth. After a few months, the denture must be relined to fit the new shape of the mouth. And every few years, the denture must be completely remade to continue fitting properly.
This issue often occurs with lower dentures, as the base of the denture is smaller to begin with. As bone loss flattens the jaw, there is very little to hold the denture in place. Even worse, the shrinkage of the jawbone can expose nerves that pass through the lower jaw, so your jaw may hurt and feel numb every time you bite down. Contact your dentist if you’re experiencing discomfort.
Of course, the loss of jawbone will also change your appearance. Your nose may get closer to your chin, and your lips may collapse. These shifts in facial shape can cause wrinkles, reduce your lip support, and make you appear older.
Several costs are involved when a patient choose dentures, including the cost of extracting the teeth, the cost of constructing the dentures, and the cost of periodic relines and remakes. When you add up all the costs involved, dentures are often more expensive than investing in a treatment to save your natural teeth. For this reason, we recommend that you save your natural teeth if this option is available to you. You will likely look better, feel better, enjoy your food more, and have more confidence than you would if you had chosen dentures.
It typically takes some time to get used to dentures, so don’t worry too much if you’re struggling with the transition. If you’re new to the world of dentures, you might find some of our previous blog posts helpful:
- Life with Dentures
- Benefits of Dentures
- Tips for Wearing Dentures
- Types of Dentures
- What Is a Partial Denture?
- Denture Adjustments and Relines
Contact Wilkinson Dental if you have any questions or concerns. Our trained staff is committed to giving you perfectly fitted dentures and equipping you with the support and knowledge you need to keep your dentures looking great for years to come. If you’re ready to feel confident in your smile again, contact us online to set up a denture consultation today.