Brand-new dentures should fit properly and feel perfectly comfortable once they’ve been adjusted. However, as the tissues in your mouth inevitably change over time, your dentures will no longer fit the shape of your mouth. You may notice sore spots, find chewing more difficult, or feel your dentures slipping out of your mouth as you talk. When this happens, you’ll need to explore denture adjustments and relines.
Denture Adjustments and Relines
After your mouth shifts in shape and your dentures no longer fit, you’ll need to have them adjusted, relined, and eventually replaced. Adjustments and relines remedy relatively minor problems and don’t require you to replace your dentures entirely. Over the life of your denture product, these occasional adjustments will fix wear and tear, long-term discomfort, an improper fit, and even cosmetic concerns.
What Is an Adjustment?
Dentists are often able to adjust dentures quickly in their offices to relieve discomfort and improve the product’s fit. New dentures commonly require a few adjustments, and after some time has passed and the wearer’s mouth has changed, more adjustments are often needed. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may need to contact your dentist for a denture adjustment:
- Broken teeth
- Chips or cracks
- Difficulty chewing
- Changes in your facial shape
- Changes in the fit of your dentures
- Pressure sores
- Gum irritation
- Oral sores (exacerbated, not caused, by dentures)
What Is a Reline?
Relining is a maintenance procedure in which the layer of the denture that rests on your gum tissue is reshaped and replaced due to general wear and tear or changes in the mouth’s structure. Over time the bone in your jaw shrinks where your natural teeth are missing. In fact, it’s common to lose 40 to 60 percent of your jawbone in the first three years after the teeth are removed (source). Some habits, like sleeping with dentures or grinding/clenching your jaw, can accelerate the shrinkage of the jawbone. Weight gain or weight loss can also impact the gums’ contours.
Relining is an integral part of the experience of wearing dentures and will be required several times throughout the lifetime of your dentures. So if your dentures are feeling a bit off and your dentist recommends relining, don’t hesitate – say yes.
When Is Replacement Necessary?
Denture adjustments and relines will only work for so long; eventually, you will need to fully replace your dentures. Typically, the mouth changes enough in 5 to 10 years that replacement is necessary. Sometimes your dentist will be able to use the current teeth of your dentures, setting them in a brand-new base. Other times, your dentist will need to create entirely new dentures.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may need to have your dentures replaced:
- Relining does not improve your denture’s fit fully.
- Your mouth feels sore and irritated.
- Your facial features have changed.
- You find it difficult to chew certain foods.
- Your denture falls out when you talk or laugh.
- The teeth of your denture are worn.
- Your denture is broken.
- You experience headaches or pain in your jaw/neck.
Your dentures should always fit perfectly. If they’re loose or don’t fit the contours of your mouth, you may develop mouth infections, sores, or excess scar tissue. You might also struggle to chew or talk or damage the function of your jaw muscles and joints. To ensure that your denture is comfortable, functional, and looks good, visit your dentist for regular upkeep.
Are your dentures feeling a bit off? Contact Wilkinson Dental right away. 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.