Ill Fitting Dentures

Information on this concern

About this concern

As you age, your mouth changes, but your dentures don’t. Loss of teeth and the change this can cause to structure in your mouth and jaw means that over time, a once good fitting denture can become loose and uncomfortable.

This article will look at:

  • The effects of ill-fitting dentures
  • Should dentures feel uncomfortable?
  • What causes dentures to come loose?
  • Signs of poor-fitting dentures
  • What can I do if I have poor-fitting dentures?
  • How we fix poor fitting dentures at NEYO
  • When do dentures need to be replaced?

The effects of ill-fitting dentures 

Dentures that don’t fit correctly can have a variety of negative impacts on both oral health and overall well-being, including:

  • Difficulty eating – the movement of the dentures or flat and worn tooth surfaces can make chewing food harder tha it should be.
  • Speech difficulties – A worn denture can affect your speech, over time you will have learnt to adapt so may not even notice. Occasionally, you may have difficulty with f, v, d, p, b ,s and t sounds, if the position of the front teeth is compromised due to wear on the denture teeth.
  • Ulceration of the gums- This can be caused by the movement of the dentures during chewing. This can lead to infection and bone being exposed.
  • Denture hyperplasia- Over-extension of the denture can also cause hyperplasia (an overgrowth of gum) as a result of irritation over a longer period of time. 
  • Denture Flabby ridge- If denture hyperplasia is left unchecked for too long it can lead to a chronic condition called flabby ridge. This can have a negative effect on the quality of the denture bearing surfaces and can be one of the most difficult problems to solve, even with a brand new denture. 
  • TMJ disorder- This is a painful click on opening or closing, or a tenderness in the muscles that control your jaw. Often caused by the worn denture tooth surfaces.
  • Denture stomatitis- This is an infection of the gum surface sometimes called ‘denture sore mouth’ ,caused by a combination of ill fitting dentures, poor maintenance and cleaning regime.
  • Angular cheilitis- This is an infection of the creases at the corner of your mouth. This is caused by the wearing down of your denture teeth, resulting in your mouth over closing.


Should dentures feel uncomfortable?

On the whole, dentures should be comfortable and fit snuggly in your mouth. There are some instances when dentures may feel uncomfortable.


New dentures

Wearing dentures can take a lot of getting used to, and at first they may feel uncomfortable and awkward to wear. As the muscles of your mouth adapt to having the dentures in place, you will find it easier to eat and talk with confidence. 


Old dentures

Older dentures can become worn and loose, and if you have noticed your dentures have become uncomfortable, it may be time to consult a denture technician. 


Signs of ill-fitting dentures

There are many short-term signs and symptoms of ill-fitting dentures, including:

  • Dentures that move
  • Food becoming trapped under the denture
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Discomfort
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing


What causes dentures to come loose?

Over time, dentures can become loose or ill-fitting for several reasons, often requiring adjustments or replacements. Here are some common factors that contribute to the loosening of dentures:


Bone resorption

After you wear dentures for a prolonged period of time, the gum and jaw tissue of your mouth begins to shrink. It is most noticeable 3-6 months after teeth have been extracted, after which time, the shrinkage process slows down. 


Improper fit 

If your dentures were not manufactured properly by an experienced and qualified denture clinician, they may begin to loosen prematurely. It is important to find a denture technician who will take time to correctly examine your mouth, diagnose exactly what sort of dentures you need, then measure and make them using the best techniques available.


Worn-out lining

Over time, the lining of the denture can  become thinner and loose, and your dentures may begin to fall out. This is common in dentures that are over 5 years old.


Damaged dentures

Dentures that are dropped, exposed to extremely hot and cold temperatures, and improperly stored can become bent or warped, causing a poor fit. Also, dentures that have been repaired lots or repaired incorrectly can become a poor fit over time.


Worn down teeth

After wearing your denture for a number of years, the teeth often become very flat with no normal pattern or ridges. This can make it more difficult to chew food.


What can I do if I have poor-fitting dentures?

It’s common for dentures to gradually loosen and lose their original snug fit over time. Fortunately, there are effective solutions available for individuals experiencing issues with poorly fitting dentures.

Maintaining regular visits to your dentist or Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) is crucial. We recommend scheduling annual appointments with a denture clinician to ensure that your dentures are still fitting and functioning as intended. Despite their natural appearance, dentures do not adapt to changes in the mouth at the same rate as gum tissues.


How we fix poor fitting dentures at Neyo

Denture relining is the best way to achieving optimal suction, fit, and comfort. When the denture no longer closely conforms to the gums and bony ridge, this procedure is highly beneficial.

A reline involves the application of a new underside or fitting surface to the denture, enhancing its snugness.

There are three types of relines:

1- Standard Reline: This utilises the same hard acrylic material as the denture itself.

2- Soft Reline: This type of reline uses softer lining material to enhance comfort, particularly in cases where a hard acrylic surface may cause soreness. This non-conventional acrylic material requires special cleaning.

3- Temporary Reline: This is used during healing phases post-extraction, surgery, or infection, a temporary reline improves denture fit and comfort. This softer material fosters healing before a more durable, long-term lining is added. Completed in a single appointment without laboratory involvement, it is the least durable, wearing and staining more quickly. Proper maintenance can be challenging due to its temporary nature.


When do dentures need to be replaced?.

Unfortunately dentures don’t last forever. Even the highest quality, most durable dentures will usually need to be replaced after 7-10 years. This lifespan can and does vary and each case should be judged individually.

So, how do you know if it’s time to get a new set of dentures? It depends on whether the issue, or issues, are solvable by other means. Most issues can be solved through denture repairs, but other times, a new set of dentures is the most viable option. 

Conditions  in which you made need new dentures include:

  • Your current bite is too far out to be corrected.
  • The colour, shape or position of the teeth is wrong.
  • There is inadequate space in your mouth at rest.
  • Worn teeth and poor fit.
  • A combination of the above.

Your denture technician can advise you on the best course of action after examining your mouth, your dentures and asking you some questions. All the factors that affect a successful denture will be looked at.

If you think you are suffering from a poorly fitting denture, your dentures feel loose or uncomfortable or you would like to discuss denture options in more detail, we offer a free consultation for all patients.

If you’re unsure about your options or would like some further advice or information about the different types of dentures available, contact us by phone or pop in for a chat at our clinic in Burgess Hill, Sussex.

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