Missing teeth can make it tough to be you. You may slur your words, dribble your soup, and forgo smiling. Those vacancies in your teeth can also increase your risk for oral health problems.
Fortunately, dentures can solve these issues, which can make eating and speaking easier and smiling more enjoyable. However, they can take some time to get used to.
Whether you just received your dentures or you’ve been wearing them for years, it’s not unusual to experience discomfort now and then when your dentures don’t fit right. You might have gum irritation, soreness, or difficulty speaking or eating.
If you're feeling frustrated about your dentures, we’ve got you covered. Dr. Melissa Daza and Dr. Michelle Schwartz at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental in Chicago are experienced denture specialists, and they can fix your denture issues in a flash. Meanwhile, here are some useful tips and tricks to help you adjust to life with dentures and ways to maintain them so that they last longer.
Reasons your dentures may not fit right
Dentures are time-honored appliances; nearly 41 million Americans rely on them to restore dental function and aesthetics due to lost teeth. However, just because dentures are popular doesn’t mean they’re problem-free. If your dentures feel like they don’t fit well, you’re not alone, but the problem is only temporary.
Your dentures may feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons. For example, your mouth could be recovering from trauma. If you have teeth extractions, the inflammation and soreness might affect the fit of your dentures.
Furthermore, tooth losses and extractions can shrink your bones and gums, so you may need adjustments as your oral landscape evolves. Another cause of discomfort can be damaged dentures. If this occurs, your dentures could lose their tight grip.
The most common reason people feel their dentures don’t fit has nothing to do with the fit but rather the new sensation of wearing the appliances. If you’re new to wearing dentures, in time, you should be able to eat, talk, and smile like a pro.
The good news is, in all these situations, time or adjustments should be able to remedy your discomfort.
Tips for getting used to dentures
If you’re having trouble adjusting to life with dentures, here are some tips and tricks to help you ease into it.
Use dental adhesive
If you're feeling like your dentures are moving around too much and causing irritation, dental adhesive can be a game-changer. Dental adhesive is a product you apply to your dentures before placing them in your mouth. This creates a gentle suction, which can improve the fit and reduce movement while you eat or speak. You can buy dental adhesive over the counter, and we can recommend brands that work well.
Eating harder or sharper foods can be challenging when you first get your dentures, so practicing chewing is essential. Consider eating your meals privately a few times until you get the hang of your new teeth. As you get more comfortable wearing your new dentures and chewing with them, this will get easier, and you'll return to eating your favorite foods in no time.
Exercise your mouth
Performing daily mouth exercises can help strengthen your oral muscles and improve the fit of your dentures. Regular exercise can help you get used to them quickly and increase your facial muscle tone. Gently move your jaws from side to side or repeat vowel sounds (like “ee” or “oo”) to help build up muscles.
Build up to tougher foods
Don’t dive into chewy or crunchy foods immediately after getting your dentures. Instead, try consuming thinly sliced or ground-up foods, such as soft pasta or cooked veggies. Over time, you can gradually build up to tougher foods, allowing your mouth to adjust and get used to your dentures.
Check for damage
It’s essential to check your dentures regularly, as these dental appliances can wear out or become damaged over time. If you notice any chips, cracks, or missing teeth, let us know immediately. Dentures can also become loose, which can cause discomfort or difficulty eating, so it’s essential to get regular adjustments.
What to do if your dentures don’t fit
Despite your best efforts, dentures can sometimes lose their grip due to changes in your mouth or wear and tear on the appliance. Your options include:
- Using denture adhesive
- Getting your dentures adjusted
- Having your dentures relined, which is a relayering process that adds more material
- Replacing your dentures
Dentures typically last 5-10 years before needing to be replaced, and the timeframe may vary depending on how well you care for them and how often you wear them. It’s essential to get regular checkups and cleanings at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental to monitor the condition of your dentures. We can recommend the best time for you to replace them to ensure that you maintain optimal oral health.
Dental implants — the denture alternative
While dentures are a standard solution for missing teeth, dental implants are also an alternative. A dental implant involves surgically placing a metal rod in your jawbone to support the abutment and crown.
If you’re missing an entire upper or lower arch of teeth, you may be a good candidate for All-on-4® implants, which is an innovative system that replaces multiple teeth using only four posts per arch.
We favor dental implants for their durability, natural-looking results, and ability to preserve bone health. However, they involve a more complex dental procedure and can be more expensive than dentures.
You don’t have to live with ill-fitting dentures. Get your dentures checked and adjusted by our specialists at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental by booking an appointment today.