Dentures are designed to last between five and ten years. However, this varies from person to person based on many different factors. As soon as you feel your denture’s fit is changing, you should speak to your dentist to check if they need to be relined or adjusted.
Many people with full dentures don’t realize they still require regular dental checkups to check their oral health and dentures’ condition. Here we take a look at what can affect your dentures’ life and signs it’s time for a new set.
Common Reasons to Replace Dentures
Dental dentures are put under a lot of stress every day. In some cases, they can be damaged and require repairs, while in other cases, they have become too worn to fit correctly and provide the chewing and bite needed to keep your jawbone and gums healthy and comfortable.
When you have full dental dentures, your face will begin to change over time. This change is because ageing causes your gums and jawbone to shrink. Otherwise known as bone resorption, it naturally affects the fit of your dentures.
Of course, you also experience wear on your dentures over time, and when combined, this creates the perfect recipe for a poor fit. Some reasons you should speak to our team about your dentures other than your regular dental checkups might include:
- Clicking sounds when you talk or move your jaw
- Difficulty speaking
- Your upper dentures tend to fall out
- You are experiencing issues eating certain foods
- Overall discomfort with your dentures
- Gum irritation
- Clear signs of wear on your dentures either on the plate or in the teeth
We can check to see if repairs or replacement is necessary.
How to Improve the Life of Your Dental Dentures
You should care for your dentures with as much attention as you would your natural teeth. When you do this, you not only find they last longer, but you’ll also avoid bad tastes and smells caused by bacteria. Here are some handy tips to keep your mouth and dentures healthier, longer:
Cleaning your dentures every day helps you remove plaque, food, and unpleasant tastes. The best way to clean them is to soak them first, brush them with a toothbrush, and give them a good rinse to remove any debris left behind. This keeps your dentures fresh as well as helping them last longer.
Remove them at night
Removing your dentures at night gives your mouth a break while you sleep. It also reduces the chance of damage if you tend to grind your teeth or clench your jaw when you sleep. Place your dentures in a glass of water to avoid warping or cracking.
Protect dentures from damage
It can be easy to lose your grip when handling your dentures, especially when they become wet and slippery during cleaning. To reduce the risk of damage, always place a towel in the sink to provide padding if you drop them.
The looser and less comfortable your dentures, the higher the chance they will break or cause damage. At the first sign of trouble, ask your dentist about repairs or a replacement.
Potential Issues from Old Dentures
Poorly fitting, old dentures can lead to many issues, including:
Old dentures can make it difficult to chew, so it’s not uncommon to eat an unhealthy diet, aggravating the stomach and leading to digestive issues.
Changes to the face
As mentioned, poorly fitting gums can lead to bone shrinkage. As this happens, you can experience facial changes, including an outwardly pointing chin or hook-like appearance to the nose.
Your jaw can’t function properly, causing jaw pain and issues such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) to develop.
Loose-fitting dentures cause aggravation of the gums. This aggravation can lead to calluses on the gums, which can get so troublesome they must be surgically removed. Infections due to bacteria can also develop in the mouth.
These issues combined can interfere with your quality of life and make it difficult to socialize, causing depression and interfering with self-esteem. Caring for your dentures and scheduling regular dental checkups is the proactive approach to maintaining good dental health.
What types of dentures are available?
Today there are more dental denture options available than ever, including:
These are your basic dentures used by patients who have lost all of their teeth. They consist of artificial teeth mounted on a gum coloured acrylic base. Upper dentures are designed to cover the roof of your mouth to remain secure, while lower dentures use a channel that fits snugly over your gums. They take from eight to 12 weeks to complete and offer a comfortable fit with few adjustments required.
The difference between immediate and conventional dentures is that they are ready to wear right away. Dentists often recommend immediate dentures as an interim solution for patients waiting for their conventional dentures or considering implant-supported dentures.
As the name implies, a partial denture is for people with just a few teeth missing. They use a ‘bridge,’ fixed to the adjoining natural teeth with crowns, to hold the teeth replacements in place. They can be permanent or removable.
These are the most natural and permanent dentures available. Titanium posts are implanted in your jawbone to mimic your natural tooth roots and then are capped with natural-looking crowns for your new artificial teeth. Not only do they provide the most natural tooth replacement option, but they also promote jawbone health by stimulating the bone like your natural tooth roots. That prevents shrinkage and weakening of the jawbone.
If you only require a few teeth replaced, dental implants also can help prevent further tooth loss as the jawbone remains healthier and more robust. It is the most stable solution and rarely requires replacement with proper care.
The better care you take of your dentures, the longer they will last. Even if you have full dentures, regular dental checkups are required to ensure your gums, jaw, and mouth remain healthy.