What Are the 12 Fixes for Common Denture Problems?
Whether you're a new denture wearer, someone planning to buy dentures, or you've had them for years, you may have a few questions and concerns. A good pair of dentures will fit snuggly and last for between 7 and 10 years. But it's not unusual to encounter minor issues along the way, and in this guide, we'll look at some common fixes for denture problems.
1. My Dentures Don't Fit Anymore
If your dentures don't fit after weight loss, surgery, or just out of the blue, some minor adjustments may be needed. These should be performed by your dentist and you should never try to make these adjustments yourself.
It's normal for your bones and your gums to change, and as dentures can last for many years, it's not unusual for these changes to mean that the dentures no longer fit.
It's especially common following oral surgery. For instance, if you purchase immediate dentures, which are fitted soon after your teeth have been extracted, you will notice some major changes over the first few months. This is the result of your gums healing and the wounds sealing.
Initially, inflammation will make your gums larger and the dentures tighter. When they heal, that inflammation goes away and the dentures may become looser. This is why dentists recommend that you keep your immediate dentures on for at least 48 hours, because if you remove them, you may struggle to re-fit them!
As for weight loss, it changes your entire facial structure, and if you have lost a lot of weight, your gums could be affected as well. You may find that your dentures are much looser than they were and that they won't remain in place.
When your dentures are too loose, you can try some denture adhesive as a short-term solution, but we still recommend discussing the issue with your dentist. They can find the cause and offer a solution. It may be cheaper and simpler than you expect.
2. My Dentures Won't Stay in Place
A good pair of dentures should offer a snug fit. Adhesive may be needed for additional support, and as noted above, it becomes more important as the mouth changes and the dentures are no longer supported. However, this should not be an issue soon after the dentures have been fitted.
If it is, the dentist may not have fitted them properly. This isn't always their fault and may be the result of a cheaper material or problems during the fitting. In any case, you can speak to them about a realignment.
Alternatively, if the movement is slight, you can try some denture adhesive. It's always useful to have some adhesive on standby as you never know when you will need it.
3. How Do I Remove My Dentures?
The dilemma of dentures—you spend half your time trying to secure them in place and the other half trying to pop them out.
For safe removal, you should stand over a sink filled with water. This is especially important if they are sticking in place and/or you're new to wearing dentures. The unfamiliarity and additional force may cause them to pop out of your mouth, in which case they will land safely in the water.
Place your fingers between your cheek and the denture, apply even force, and pull away gently. It may not work straight away, and it can be a little frustrating, but if you persist, you'll get there eventually.
Before long, it will become like second-nature and you'll be able to pop them out straight away.
4. My Dentures Won't Come Out
Have you used a little too much adhesive? If so, it may be difficult to remove your dentures. But don't panic, as the solution is relatively simple. Dental adhesive is designed to hold them in place throughout the day, but it's not Gorilla Glue and they won't remain lodged in place.
Simply swish some warm water around in your mouth. The adhesive will gradually absorb some of the liquid and relinquish its hold on your dentures. If you're still struggling, try puffing your cheeks. Just close your mouth, make sure your lips are sealed, and then gently blow. This helps to force air underneath the dentures and may loosen them.
Some users find that it helps to drink a hot cup of tea before going to bed, and to enjoy this with a hard piece of hard fruit, such as an apple. This helps to loosen the dentures and pull them away from the adhesive.
In the future, you should avoid using too much adhesive. You have to find a good balance between using enough to keep the dentures in place but not enough to lock them in at night. It's something you will figure out yourself in time.
5. I Need Dentures But Can't Afford Them
A complete set of dentures made with heat-cured, high-quality materials can cost upwards of $3,000 and depending on where you live and what materials you choose, the cost could be closer to $8,000. That's a lot of money, and the cost doesn't end there. You have to think about checkups and extractions, as well as replacements and repairs.
If you're paying $5,000 for the dentures and $2,000 for the additional treatments and services, that's roughly $1,000 a year for the average set. It's more than the average American spends on out-of-pocket dental treatments, and it's no wonder that many people are struggling to cover these costs.
Fortunately, there are options. If you have some of your teeth remaining, you can purchase a partial set. This often attaches to your remaining teeth and is designed to match them in size and color. You should save a little bit on the dentures and you will also save money by avoiding tooth extractions.
Economy dentures are also available. These can be purchased for as little as $300. Obviously, you get what you pay for, and a cheap pair of dentures won't have the feel or look of an expensive pair, but if you do your research and buy some quality adhesive, you can make them work.
Look into insurance options, inquire about Medicaid and Medicare to save on dentures, extractions, and other treatments, and speak with dental charities. Many dentists offer financing options to patients who need expensive treatments but can't cover the cost.
There are always ways to get the dentures you need.
Believe it or not, DIY dentures exist as well. You can buy kits online and these are often available for less than $100. Some offer everything you need for under $50! As you would expect, however, these are often cheaply made, messy/fiddly to manufacture, and often produce dentures that are loose, uncomfortable, and likely to cause irritation.
6. My Dentures Are Too Big
If your dentures are too big, they won't feel "right" in your mouth. They will be loose and uncomfortable. You may feel like you're constantly gagging and that you can't eat properly.
Unless you have lost a lot of weight or made the dentures yourself, it's highly unusual for dentures to be too large. It could be that you're just not used to having dentures. If you're used to a mouth that has just a few teeth or no teeth at all, and now you have an entire set of teeth to deal with, it will feel unusual.
If not, and if they are too big, speak with your dentist. They can make a realignment and right the wrongs.
7. I Have Damaged my Dentures
If the base is damaged, you may need a new pair or an extensive repair, but it depends on the level of damage. If you have damaged a tooth, more often than not, it can be replaced. Your dentist will provide you with more information and advice on the best course of action.
Many denture wearers are worried that the repair process will take several weeks, leaving them toothless in that time. These days, however, most dentists have on-site labs that offer quick repairs, often in just a day or two.
8. My Dentures are Discolored
Can you whiten dentures? It's a question that many denture wearers have, and the answer seems obvious. After all, if you can whiten teeth, surely you can whiten dentures, right?
Teeth whitening solutions work by bleaching your enamel (outer surface) and dentin (inner surface). Denture teeth use acrylic that has a fixed shade, and you cannot change the color by bleaching it. However, it's a different story if those fake teeth have become stained and you're just trying to remove the stains.
In such cases, you should clean them using solutions like XODENT™. It will remove the bacteria and bring out the whiteness of the original shade. If you're still having an issue, speak with your dentist.
Don't use whitening solutions or whitening toothpaste on your dentures. Whitening toothpaste uses highly abrasive materials to scrub the plaque away, and these substances may damage your dentures.
9. My Dentures are Too White
The ultimate goal of dentures is to create something that is lifelike. However, many patients opt for the whitest color that they can get, believing that whiter teeth are always better. They only realize their mistake when they wear the dentures for the first time and glow brighter than the North Star.
Consult with your dentist throughout the procedure and make sure you're getting something that looks real. If the completed dentures are too white, tell them sooner rather than later. Don't dismiss them in the hope that you'll get used to them—make it clear that you're not happy.
If you've had them for a while and your dentist won't make any changes, you should consult with another dental professional and discuss your options. Unfortunately, these may be limited to getting another pair.
10. I Can't Taste Anything
Your taste buds are located on your tongue, so your ability to taste should not be altered by your dentures. However, if you're used to living without dentures and are suddenly given a full set, you may notice some changes in the way you chew and enjoy food. It could be that you are chewing less or moving food around your mouth in a different way.
It may even be that you are using too much adhesive. In any case, things should return to normal after a few days or weeks, by which time you will have gotten used to the dentures.
If the issue persists, consult with your dentist. They will look for a cause and may advise on further action if one cannot be found.
11. My Gums Are Irritated
If your gums are irritated after using dentures, make sure you are removing and washing them every night. You don't need to wear them for bed and should use that time to soak them and clean them with the XODENT™ kit.
After you have removed the dentures, wash your mouth out with warm salt water to remove bacteria and soothe irritated gums. You can also do this in the morning before popping the dentures back in your mouth.
A cold or hot compress may help to reduce the pain from irritated gums and there are also a host of over-the-counter gels that are incredibly effective at killing pain. Always read the packet, though, and avoid using these gels on broken skin.
12. I Am Worried That…
Numerous myths surround denture use and these often prevent individuals who need them from taking the necessary steps. If you're in this boat, take a look at these concerns:
Dentures Will Change the Shape of My Face
It is true that dentures can impact the shape of your face, but more often than not, it will improve it. Your teeth support your face and your smile. When you lose them, your face sags a little. Adding dentures helps to provide some much-needed support and return your smile to its former glory.
They Look Too Fake
Cheap dentures can look fake, but if you go to a good dentist and pay for a premium pair, you shouldn't have an issue. Countless elderly celebrities wear dentures and the only thing that gives them away is that they have a full set of white teeth well into their twilight years!
The problem with dentures is that you only tend to notice the bad ones. But if you're paying good money and going to a skilled professional, you shouldn't have this issue yourself.
They Will Never Feel Normal
Anything that's different will feel unusual to begin with. If you have ever been fitted for braces or a night-guard, you'll understand that those first few days are very uncomfortable and awkward, but with time, it becomes second-nature. And if the dentures are professionally made and fitted, it should be less of an issue.
There is No Going Back
Being fitted for dentures is a major dental procedure, but unlike veneers, it's often performed out of necessity, as opposed to aesthetics. With veneers, your teeth are ground down so that synthetic caps can be fitted. These teeth won't grow back, so it's a procedure that cannot be reversed, yet it's still one that many perform just to have a white smile.
A full set of dentures will require your remaining teeth to be pulled, and there's no going back from that, either. However, this procedure is only performed if those teeth are decayed or have become loose through gum disease. In other words, they are ready to fall out and serve no purpose.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, look into alternative solutions, including implants and crowns. If not, dentures are a great way to improve your smile and your dental health.
I Won't be Able to Chew the Same Again
If you need dentures, there's a good chance you're already having problems chewing, either because you're chewing with decayed teeth or using your gums. Dentures will make chewing easier and allow you to eat foods you may have been avoiding.
Dentures are tough and designed to mimic real teeth, so you can eat what you want, including tough meats. However, if you want them to last, you should keep these foods to a minimum and avoid putting too much pressure on the dentures. This will stop them from popping out of your mouth and will also reduce the chance of chipping and breaking.
How to Avoid Issues with Your Dentures
To reduce the chance of stains, breaks, chips, and other issues, you need to clean your dentures at least once a day. Use XODENT™ cleaning kits for a safe daily cleanse.
Our kits contain everything you need to clean your dentures. Just add them to the draining basket, place inside the denture bath, fill with warm water, and add an XODENT™ tablet. They will soak overnight, and the effervescent tablets will disperse the cleaning ingredients and ensure they get into every niche.
The next day, just remove, rinse, and give it a gentle scrub with the brush included.
Do this once a day to prevent the build-up of bacteria. You should also rinse after eating, removing any particles that have lodged in the teeth or base.
Whenever you notice discoloration, chips, cracks, and other issues, visit your dentist. As with a real set of teeth, these problems need to be dealt with quickly. The sooner you address them, the easier and cheaper the fix will be.