Dr. Rich fits many patients for dentures and helps them care for them. Approximately 40% of older Americans wear full or partial dentures. Many have adapted quite nicely. However, many denture wearers have encountered problems, both emotionally and physically. Some people have trouble eating and some may have repeated sores, which can be quite painful. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to yeast infections of the mouth (oral candidiasis), increased or uneven bone loss and even cancer believed to be from chronic irritation.
When is it time for a new denture?
Over time, tissue and bone shrinks slightly. As this occurs, dentures will not fit as well and will become loose. Denture fit may also change as one loses or gains weight. Dr. Rich can determine if your dentures need to be relined to help them fit better. However, if their bases are too far gone, a new one may need to be fabricated.
As always, even a full denture wearer should visit the dentist on a regular basis to get an evaluation of the palate, tongue, and surrounding tissue for any problems. Sore spots should not be ignored. See us if adjustments are needed. Some people have trouble eating and some may have repeated sores, which can be quite painful. We can help with any discomfort you may experience.
What is the best way to get used to my new dentures?
As with any new appliance, dentures may feel odd at first. They may cause increased saliva flow or they may alter speech. One should start by cutting food into small pieces, avoid hot foods, and avoid hard foods until the tissue (where the denture rests) becomes used to the new teeth. As time goes by, you will become accustomed to them.
Do I brush them like real teeth?
No – dentures should be cleaned, if possible, after each meal. The best way is to remove them and rinse them. If one is able to, brushing the dentures with a wet tooth brush (no toothpaste!) is advised, as well as rinsing the mouth to clean it of any debris. If some natural teeth do remain, we suggest that you brush and floss them as your dentures may be secured in your mouth using your existing teeth. They are more important than ever to care for properly. Always soak dentures at night after brushing them. Over the counter cleaning agents are available. Keeping the dentures soaked protects them from warping. It is also much healthier to keep the teeth out overnight to avoid excessive pressure on the soft tissue and bone. Always remember to brush your tongue and lightly brush the gums with a soft toothbrush. Special denture brushes should be used on the dentures.
Keeping Dentures in Place
For some the best option will be using various denture adhesives. For others Dr. Rich may encourage you to have an implant in order to anchor the denture in place and to make your jaw more comfortable. Talk to Dr. Rich about the best option for you.