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In your mouth teeth help maintain bone levels of your gums, and at the same time the bones of the gums support your teeth. This relationship ensures that both the teeth and the gums remain strong. In individuals that have missing teeth this interdependency is lost, and the gums constantly change, and undergo tissue reduction (referred to as atrophy). This is what causes dentures to become loose. After several years gums may completely change and dentures may not be able to fit well at all. This problem is not only annoying, but a poorly fitting denture also can result in short- and long-term issues.

The first concerns that may arise from loose dentures are speech problems and difficulty eating.  These may be the initial hurdles for those getting accustomed to dentures, but if it becomes increasingly harder to eat and articulate words with basic noises (such as the sound the letter S makes), your denture may be getting looser. Another early warning sign is discomfort.  If dentures begin to rub, rock, and feel unbalanced they are placing increased pressure and irritation on gum tissues.

Over a long period of time poorly fitting dentures can cause advanced issues. Using more dental adhesive accelerates the remodeling of bone and makes dentures fit even more uncomfortably. Eventually irritation and pressure will cause the gum tissues to become inflamed. Painful sores and blisters will develop. Additionally, there is an increased risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

You don’t have to settle with an uncomfortable, painful denture. Dental implants are also a good option if your dentures don’t fit well. Sometimes as little as four dental implants can be used to stabilize and strengthen the retention of dentures in your mouth. Dental implants also help prevent the loss of bone.  Dentures can be relined for a better fit if they are only slightly loose, but a new denture may be recommended if the case is more severe. For more information regarding dentures or implants, please contact Dr. Richard M. Richman, D.D.S. and Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C. today.