Knowledge is helpful in all aspects of life, especially if you wear dentures or are considering them. The wearing of dentures can be a complex topic if you take into account the unique structure of the mouth and the uniqueness of each denture wearer. Here are five things you may not know about wearing dentures:
- Palates come in different shapes. The shape of each patient’s palate (the “roof” of the mouth) influences the fit and suction needed to wear an upper denture. A square or rounded palate shape is more suitable than a small flat, or V -shaped palate.
- Wearing a lower denture is more difficult than wearing an upper denture. Most complaints about wearing dentures have to do with lower dentures. This is because lower dentures are in a mobile environment – where lips, cheeks and tongue try to dislodge the denture during eating or speaking. The lower mouth ridge is much smaller than the upper ridge, and is prone to excessive shrinkage; there is also no large surface on which to create suction. These factors often cause a lower denture to move or trap food. In time, a successful denture wearer will learn to control their facial muscles to prevent movement of their dentures.
- Gums shrink. When your natural teeth are lost, what remains are the bony ridges where your teeth used to be. Your dentures rest on these ridges. It is normal for the ridges to shrink, known as atrophy or wasting of the bone. This process is normal, inevitable and varies with each patient. It is one of the main reasons some people have difficulty wearing dentures.
- Dentures should be examined every year to check for proper fit, ensure against damage, monitor wear and make any necessary adjustments. Dentures are worn down by eating and cleaning, but the denture base will not adjust to your bony ridges. Dentures can be replaced or relined if they become loose.
- Fixatives are not just for loose-fitting dentures. They can also give you extra confidence by providing a more comfortable fit, preventing bits of food from getting under your dentures and preventing you from worrying about slippage.
Dr. Holbrook welcomes your questions about dentures and is dedicated to creating smiles that last a lifetime. If you have any dental concerns, please call to schedule an appointment, today: (505) 881-1159.