Preventative Advice for Denture Wearers

Many people who wear dentures think that because they have no natural teeth, they no longer need to attend the dental surgery for inspections or treatment. They fail to realise that denture teeth wear down, reducing the height of their faces and sometimes causing damage to the jaw joints. The shape of the mouth continually changes, with the bone being reshaped, and this results in dentures that do not fit so well. The dentures can now move around more easily and can dig in at the edges, and this can produce ulcers and overgrowths of gum.

These changes occur gradually and so denture wearers rarely notice them. By the time they finally attend the dentist it is often very difficult to provide satisfactory new dentures because there is little jawbone left, covered by a misshaped gum.

Dentists can only do what they can to help and expecting a film star appearance overnight after one visit unfortunately does not occur.

Denture wearers tend to be older than average in our community, and consequently are more prone to mouth cancer which can be treated well if it is seen by a dentist early enough.

Precautions for people who wear dentures:

  1. Leave the dentures out of your mouth at night and place them in a glass of water to prevent drying out. Dentures must not be worn all the time but should be left out for a minimum of 6 hours in every 24. The area under the denture that has stagnated and has been under load needs time to rest and recover to avoid infections.
  2. After every meal, remove the dentures and clean them with a toothbrush and soapy water, and also clean the mouth gently with a toothbrush, putting the cleaned dentures into a clean mouth. Clean over a bowl or sink filled with water to prevent fracture of the denture if it is dropped.
  3. Dentures should not be soaked in hot water or concentrated bleach solutions overnight. One drop of a baby bottle sterilising liquid to half a pint of cold water is good enough.
  4. Scale or stain on dentures is best removed by a brush-on cleaner. Remember to follow the maker’s instructions as some cleansers contain acid, which is not suitable for metal dentures.
  5. Visit your dentist every year to have your dentures, gums and whole mouth examined. Modifications can be made to improve your comfort and your whole mouth can be inspected for your own piece of mind.
  6. Never use Superglue to repair dentures and do not use sandpaper or try to adjust the dentures yourself. Dentures are best repaired and adjusted by a dentist and dental technician. Home repairs often damage the denture so much that a new one has to be made, resulting in the loss of the denture and more expense.