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John P. Goodman DDS

Problems Caused by Poorly Fitting Dentures

By Dr. John Goodman on January 29, 2014

Kansas City Dentures - Fitting ProblemsDentures are often stereotyped as a conspicuous form of tooth replacement, coming loose or having an obvious effect one one’s speech patterns. However, these embarrassing problems should not occur in dentures that are properly fitted and secured. More importantly, loose dentures can lead to a variety of complications that are more than just cosmetic.

We want our patients in the Kansas City area to remain comfortable and satisfied with any of their dental restorations. If you currently have or are considering dentures, take note of the following problems that may arise from a poor fit. 

Short-Term Problems

When dentures are not a precise fit, their effects tend to be immediately noticeable. Unfortunately, not all patients correct the problem right away, leading to an increasingly poor fit as the mouth and jaw continue to change over time. If you experience one or more of these problems, you should have your dentures re-examined by a knowledgeable cosmetic dentist:

  • A loose fit: As one might expect, the first indication of a poor fit is a tendency for dentures to become loose. Although adhesive cream can help secure dentures, it should not be consistently necessary for a proper fit. If dentures easily become unsecured, they can lead to a host of other problems.
  • Discomfort: When dentures do not fit properly, they tend to exert pressure against the gums, rub against them, or feel uneven at certain spots. This may be merely annoying at first, but as time goes, irritation and pain will continue to increase.
  • Speech problems: When dentures are not tightly secured to the gums, they can result in impaired speech. Some words in particular may be hard to properly pronounce, such as those containing the letter S.
  • Difficulty eating: While some food is inherently difficult to eat with dentures, even mildly chewy, hard, or crunchy foods can be made difficult through ill-fitting ones. If you find that foods you could previously eat now result in your dentures becoming loose, it may be time to get them adjusted.

Long-Term Problems

As loose dentures continue to be worn, their side effects will likely increase, along with the risk of health complications. Patients who do not seek adjustment or replacement for poorly fitting dentures can expect any of the below problems:

  • Swelling: As loose dentures irritate the gums, it is possible for gum tissue to become swollen. In turn, swollen gums become further irritated, resulting in additional pain and complications.   
  • Sores and blisters: Mouth sores can develop along the gums or on the inside of the lips, which are especially sensitive and vulnerable.
  • Dietary problems: When certain foods are restricted due to difficulty chewing, patients may not adequately meet their normal dietary needs.
  • Fungal infection: Poorly fitting dentures increase the risk of thrush, a fungal infection that results in painful white spots along the inside of the mouth. Thrush can also lead to difficulty swallowing, and may be spread to other regions of the body if not treated.
  • Bacterial infection: If tissue becomes exposed due to sores or cuts, it can become infected. Additionally, stomatitis is a common oral infection from loose dentures, which causes a red and swollen inflammation of the mouth.
  • Overuse of denture cream: When denture cream is perpetually used to secure loose dentures, patients may be overexposed to zinc. This has the potential to create symptoms of neuropathy, which temporarily or permanently numb various nerves in the body. 

Fix Your Poorly Fitting Dentures

If your dentures no longer fit comfortably over the gum line, it is time to get them fixed or to find a more effective way to secure them. For a mildly poor fit, dentures can be readjusted or realigned to better complement your gums. If the contours of your mouth have significantly changed, however, a set of replacement dentures may be a better solution.

Dental implants are also a way to permanently secure dentures and ensure a proper fit. By installing a few implants, your dentures can benefit from increased stability, strength, and support. Moreover, dental implants help preserve your jawbone, minimizing bone loss over time.

To learn which of these treatment options can best help you, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodman.

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