After the initial adjustment period with dentures, you should be able to talk, bite and chew naturally. Similarly, your mouth knows when you need an adjustment. You may experience pain or discomfort when you chew. You may have trouble articulating your words. You may feel you must remove and replace them to make them “feel right.” If you experience the following signs, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with the dentist to make an adjustment.
Chips, cracks and broken teeth
While they do not affect your entire mouth, chips and cracks can impact the soft tissues on the inside of your mouth, your gums or your lips. Any sharp or uneven surface can lead to sores, blisters, or bleeding in your mouth.
Because dentures come out, they are also subject to more serious accidents involving broken or damaged teeth. Over-the-counter kits from the pharmacy can seem expedient, but can lead to ill-fitting dentures and problems in the future. It’s best to have broken dentures repaired by a professional.
Soreness, irritation, and discomfort
If pressure from your dentures is not distributed evenly, parts of your gums can become sore. Similarly, if dentures don’t fit well, they can cause portions of your gums to become raw and inflamed. If there is intense pain near your incisors, this can indicate that you may be experiencing bone resorption. Any persistent sensitivity or tenderness is a clear signal that you may need a refitting.
Difficulty chewing and speaking
The two primary purposes of dentures are to maintain your eating habits and speech patterns in the absence of natural teeth. If you cannot bite or chew smoothly after your adjustment period, this may indicate you need a refitting or a relining. Similarly, if you notice changes in the nuances of your speech, or if your dentures move when you talk it may be due to the fit of your dentures.
Changes in your facial features
Good dentures should keep your cheeks flat and even and keep your jawline strong. Force on your gums should be distributed evenly. This stimulates your jawbone, so your body knows to keep bone mass there. If the area around your mouth looks sunken or your cheeks are not flat, it could be that bone resorption is occurring.
Odors and discoloration
You’ll want to care for your dentures and your gums according to your dentist’s recommendations. This includes brushing your dentures and gums, rinsing your mouth, and soaking your dentures in a specialized solution. If odors persist or you have stains that don’t come out with brushing or rinsing, you could have an issue with your denture’s material.
With regular care, dental exams, and relining every two or three years, dentures can keep your jawline healthy and strong, and can keep you chewing and speaking naturally. Take care and notice any of these signs, as they can warrant a trip to a dental professional.