Denture Issues You Should Speak to Your Dentist About
Your dentures benefit you in many ways: they allow you to speak and chew better and give your face a more natural, youthful appearance. You can wear dentures for many years in comfort with similar care as you would give your normal teeth.
About half of the American population over 55 wear some type of denture, and most people can wear them comfortably for many years. Some discomfort can be expected, however, as your mouth and bone density changes with age and your dentures begin to show signs of wear. Here are some denture issues you should discuss with your dentist.
Slipping or Gagging
When your dentures don’t fit correctly, they can cause a number of dental maladies including slippage or causing you to gag involuntarily. These conditions are most commonly caused by dentures that are too large.
You may experience this problem when you are first fitted with dentures and your gums are still swollen from dental work. Your dentures may be too wide or long for your mouth, but you won’t notice the ill fit until your dentures settle. If you experience any difficulties in chewing or swallowing due to denture slippage or if you gag easily when they are in place, talk to your dentist about having your dentures re-fitted.
If, after years of wearing dentures, you begin to notice sore spots on your gums or large lesions where your dentures appear to rub on your cheeks or other areas inside your mouth, your dentures may need to be relined. While some people can wear dentures for over five years or longer without having the bottom area re-lined for comfort, it’s common to need to have this procedure done every few years.
Your dentist can re-line your dentures in a single visit, so don’t hesitate to let them know you are in pain. Your dentures will be inspected for signs of wear and your mouth will be examined for infection or swelling in addition to having your dentures re-lined.
If your dentures are brushing against the insides of your cheeks, hitting your tongue, or rubbing on your gums but aren’t causing pain, they can still cause another condition that is serious and requires dental intervention: white patches where they are abrasive or touch the skin.
Leukoplakia, or the white patches found inside your mouth due to irritation (the condition is also linked to tobacco use) is a potentially dangerous disease that can lead to mouth cancer. Although most cases of leukoplakia are both harmless and painless, you should have a biopsy done by your dentist to be on the safe side.
Your dentures should also be re-fitted to prevent a recurrence of the condition. Your dentist will track the size and duration of the white patches in your mouth and, if any new ones form, may want biopsies of these as well.
Dentures are a common dental solution for many patients, in fact, more people than not have at least one type of denture in their lifetime. As you come to enjoy your dentures and the benefits they bring you, you will encounter some discomfort that your dentist can assist you in relieving.
The best way to keep your dentures comfortable and well-maintained is to visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Your dentist will want to check your dentures at least once a year to ensure they are fitting properly and don’t need any readjusting.
Keeping your smile healthy is something you can achieve with the right pair of dentures. Our dental team at Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA is committed to helping you keep confident in your oral health.