There is no question that with the proper care, well-made dentures will last many years. However, it is essential to have a general dentist regularly check the dentures to make sure that they remain well-fitting and comfortable.
All dentures are custom-made to exactly fit your jaw and gumline. However, as you mature and age, your gums and jaw begin to shrink, which usually causes your dentures to loosen. No person who wears dentures wants to go through life never knowing when their dentures are going to pop out. In unfortunate cases, dentures can pop out at the most inopportune moments.
As the shape of the underlying bone changes, your dentures can become very uncomfortable and a Costa Mesa general dentist will need to examine them. An ill-fitting denture constantly rubbing against soft tissue can cause sores, bleeding gums, severe inflammation, or even a fungal infection. However, discomfort is not the only problem. Dentures that fit improperly can cause a wrong bite, which is when the upper and lower teeth do not meet correctly when brought together. This can lead to problems with the jaw joint along with pain in the head, neck, or face that is severe enough to interfere with your daily life.
Although a shrinking jawbone is usually why dentures become loose, the reverse is also the case. The jawbone can atrophy due to uneven pressure from the denture. If the person wearing dentures already struggles from osteoporosis, the jawbone may atrophy a great deal more easily. This condition is extremely serious because it is irreversible. Also, in an unrelenting cycle, the bone loss causes the denture to wear more unevenly.
Because of all of this, it is important to pay attention to the small changes in how your dentures fit and not allow any problems to go untreated.
Some of the common signs that your dentures may require modifying or even replacement include:
- Slippage: Dentures are designed to fit snugly and not move when you talk, eat, cough, or sneeze. A very obvious sign that your dentures need to be checked by a general dentist is when they start slipping during any of these movements.
- Difficulty Eating: It is true that most denture wearers have to modify how they eat certain foods. A common sign that your dentures are not fitting as well as they used to is when foods you were able to chew after the breaking-in period are no longer as easy to eat.
- Sore Spots or Pain: Your gums are likely to sense any changes in how your dentures fit much sooner than you do. Soft tissue will quickly become sore with even the slightest friction. Dentures that push down on your gums when you bite or chew something will also cause your gums to become sore.
- Dentures Get Dirty More Quickly: If you notice that food is getting behind the denture far more easily than in the past, this may be because the original seal is not as tight as it once was.
If you have noticed one or more of these signs, take your dentures to your Costa Mesa general dentist as soon as possible. They may need to be relined, adjusted, or even replaced in order to avoid any serious problems.