If you have fully or completely lost your teeth, you can improve your life by installing dentures, which are more natural-looking and comfortable than they were before. It isn't completely unheard of to have problems with your dentures, particularly if they don't fit well or their care regimen is ignored. This article discusses a few problems related to dentures and their treatment and prevention tips.
1. Mouth yeast infections
Denture wearers are more prone to developing mouth infections such as:
Cheilitis – this causes cracking and inflammation on the corners of the mouth as a result of yeast overgrowth. Yeast is known to accumulate in moist areas of the mouth if your dentures don't sit on your gum ridges properly. Avoid licking or rubbing the sides of your mouth if you have dentures, and ensure that they are inspected regularly to ensure they fit properly.
Stomatitis – this is also a yeast infection induced by dentures, but its symptoms aren't as obvious as above. Patients with symptoms may have small red bumps or redness on the roof of the mouth, particularly underneath the top dentures. Drugs should be administered to clear off the infection, and dentures should be maintained properly to ensure they fit well and do not accumulate dirt.
2. Denture ill-fitting problems
Throughout your life, your dentures will need to be adjusted because the shape of your gums changes from the time you lose teeth until you die. The following are common reasons for ill-fitting dentures, which increase risk of infection:
Shrinking gums – once your natural teeth fall, you mouth is left with bony ridges under the fleshy gums – the bones that held teeth before. Because they're not holding teeth, these bones may have atrophy or resorption, during which the bone structure shrinks/wastes away. This is why your dentures must be inspected annually after the adjustment period to ensure they sit properly with your current mouth shape.
Misshapen lower ridges/palates – atrophy or resorption can cause the ridges to not only shrink, but also take on different shapes and sizes. Ideally, your ridges should have a smooth squared or rounded shape to favour dentures. Overly-flat of V-shaped ridges cannot properly support the denture base and can result in soreness and inflammation. This also applies to the palate shapes, which determines how well your upper dentures will sit. However, lower ridges shrink faster than upper ridges, and hence the former forms majority of complaints related to ill-fitting dentures.
Finally, dentures may fail to sit properly depending on the wearer's habits. Wearers must train themselves to speak and eat with the dentures, as well as getting rid of subconscious habits that interfere with denture placement e.g. pushing the tongue against the dentures.