Why don’t my dentures fit well anymore?
False teeth, whether they are complete full dentures or partial dentures, are made to fit your mouth at a specific point in time. As you age, everything about you changes, even your mouth. But the false teeth you had made years ago cannot change with you. This is why the quality of the fit slowly deteriorates.
As the years pass, the bone supporting the false teeth continues to change, usually shrinking. This rate of change is different for everyone. Many people notice a change after only two years. Others don’t notice for many years after.
Most people can tell when their dentures are getting loose or uncomfortable, but because this process is gradual it is often ignored until there is so much irritation that it can’t be ignored any more. This irritation can be red swollen areas that bleed easily, or actual cuts into the gums, which may or may not be tender.
What if my dentures are new?
If your dentures are fairly new andwere made immediately after teeth were extracted, a reline will be required after two to six months. This will take care of the early shrinkage and healing, thus restoring proper fit again.
I advise that you have a dentist look at your mouth every one or two years, especially at the gums under your dentures. It is best to keep your dentures fitting well so that no irritation develops, because irritation can change the shape and structure of your gums and the bone underneath. These abnormal changes will make it difficult to maintain good fitting dentures.
What does a reline do?
To keep your dentures fitting properly they may need to be relined, as the need arises. Relining is a cost effective procedure as long as you like the way your dentures look. Of course if you don’t like the way your teeth look, because of wear, shape or color, then a reline (which only affects the fit) won’t make you happy. If you don’t like the way your dentures look or they have been relined several times already you will need new dentures.
What about denture adhesives?
When used as directed with properly fitted dentures, adhesives are a safe, effective aid for comfort and security as well as confidence for the denture wearer. Using dentures is a skill that the muscles of the mouth, tongue cheeks and lips, must learn and develop. When you first learned to ride a bicycle, your body muscles learned to balance automatically. In a similar way, the muscles in and around your mouth must adapt to controlling the dentures. Denture adhesives are a good help in the beginning.
Like any good tool, dentures need to be kept clean and regularly maintained. Adjustments and maintenance are a fact of life for the denture user.