QUESTIONS REGARDING DENTURES
If you're here, you're either thinking of having some type of dental work or oral surgery done, or are looking for after-care advice. First, let me make this perfectly clear:
I am NOT a dentist or oral surgeon.
A: New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them. Also, it is not unusual for minor irritation or soreness to occur and for saliva flow to increase when you first start wearing dentures, but these problems will diminish as your mouth adjusts to the new denture.
A: Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth, so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance.
A: Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to your new dentures, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. And, avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. You may want to avoid chewing gum while you adjust to the denture.
A: You may have difficulty pronouncing certain words. If so, practice by saying the difficult words out loud. With practice and with time you will become accustomed to speaking properly with your denture.
If your dentures "click" while you're talking, you should contact your dentist. Your dentures may occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If any speaking problem persists, consult your dentist or prosthodontist.
A: Your dental professional will instruct you as to how long to wear your denture and when to remove it. During the first several days after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, including while you sleep. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify the areas on your denture that may need adjustment. Once adjustments are made, you should remove your dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. The denture can be put back in your mouth in the morning.
A: A denture adhesive may be considered under the following circumstances:
- To enhance your satisfaction with a properly constructed denture. Adhesives enhance retention, stability, bite force, and an individual's sense of security
To assist individuals with dry mouth conditions that lessen denture adherence, such as individuals taking cold medications, those with neurologic disabilities including strokes, and the elderly
When shouldn't adhesives be considered?
- When used as a "fix" for ill-fitting or poorly constructed dentures. If your dentures begin to feel loose, cause discomfort or cause sores to develop, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
A: Here are some tips to consider when applying denture adhesives:
- Paste application: Apply to a dry or preferably wet denture. Avoid placing adhesive close to the denture borders. If the adhesive oozes, use less of the product. For dentures on the upper jaw, apply three short strips of adhesive-or s series of small dots-along the ridge area and one down the center. For dentures on the lower jaw, apply three short strips of adhesive-or s series of small dots-in the center of the ridge area.
A: Dental adhesives are safe as long as they are used as they were meant to be used. If the denture is well-fitting and the adhesive is only used to give added stability, there should be no ill effects. If adhesives are used excessively to fill voids for an ill-fitting denture, they can be harmful to the underlying soft and hard tissues. Occasionally, in these cases, inflammation of the soft tissues can result. In addition, because of its movement on the soft tissue and underlying bone, an ill-fitting denture can cause bone loss.
CARING FOR & CLEANING DENTURES
- Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures.
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS & DENTURES
New denture wearers have various questions regarding personal relationships and sexual activity.