Dentures / Overdentures

Problems associated with poorly fitting dentures

Overtime shrinkage occurs in the gum that supports your dentures or dentures are worn down, the lower jaw can move out of its correct position with the upper jaw. This can sometimes lead to a number of problems. The facial muscles can virtually collapse giving the appearance of premature aging. Other symptoms which may occur include;

  • cracked and continually sore corners of the mouth
  • a dull pain in or around the ear
  • a clicking noise when chewing
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • burning sensation in the throat, tongue and side of the nose

When dentures are first inserted they fit the gum snugly. There is no substitute for a well fitted denture, and to make sure that you have no problems always have your dentures checked regularly by your Dental Prosthetist.

How long should your dentures last?

You should never consider your first set of dentures as your only set. Many people believe that their dentures should last forever but this is not so. Generally dentures should be reviewed every 2 years for adjustment or renewal.

Apart from your dentures being worn down by continual use, the shape of your gums and bone in your mouth continually changes over the years and can affect the way your dentures function.

Even when your dentures feel comfortable they should be examined regularly to ensure no permanent damage is being done to the mouth.If ever a sore spot or growth is discovered you should immediately seek advice. These areas may be quite harmless and only require minor

Adjustment to the denture but only a professional can evaluate and rectify the situation.

If a partial denture fits poorly it can not only damage the supporting gums but your natural teeth as well. A poor fit may cause bleeding, soreness or swelling and consequently you should seek further attention if this occurs.

What can you expect from new dentures?

Dentures are a substitute for healthy natural teeth but if you have been unfortunate to lose some or all of your teeth then a partial or full denture will enable you to maintain your facial appearance and satisfactorily chew food.

You may encounter difficulties getting used to your new dentures at first and have difficulty controlling them while eating, swallowing or speaking. With a lower denture there is often a tendency at first for the tongue and lower jaw muscles to displace it. In time you will however overcome these difficulties and adjust to your new dentures.

The secret lies in perseverance.

Should dentures be worn overnight?

In most cases it is best to leave them out at night and this is particularly important with partial dentures. However, this is mainly up to you. If you find that your jaws or the muscles of your face ache by overclosing your jaw without your dentures, leave them in. On the other hand if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep it will reduce the breakdown of your gums if you take them out. If indoubt ask.

How to clean your dentures

Food debris and tartar accumulate on your dentures just as they do on normal teeth so therefore they should be cleaned after each meal. You should use a soft toothbrush with a non abrasive cleaner, ideally use soap and water.

Cleaning the denture with bleach may cause discolouration and cause your denture to look unnatural. Also, abrasive cleaners and hard brushes cause unnecessary wear. It is recommended that you use an

approved brand of denture products for maintaining your dentures. Anything that is available in chemists should be suitable.

Many dentures are broken while being cleaned, and it is easy to prevent this. When cleaning, half fill the wash basin with water then if the denture slips from your hand the water will cushion the fall.

Your Dental Prosthetist is the best person to advise you on cleaning your dentures.

Please Remember

Artificial dentures require proper care and regular professional attention just like nature teeth. It is up to you to make sure your denture is the best fit possible and are in the best condition.

By following this advice and regularly having your denture assessed, you will ensure that your denture and mouth are properly maintained.

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