Dentures

When you first begin to wear dentures, they may feel loose. This is normal until you learn to keep them in place with the muscles of your cheek and tongue. The dentures will also feel bulky and may cause a slight gagging sensation. Your mouth may feel sore and irritated and your saliva flow may increase. As you become adjusted to wearing the dentures, these problems often decrease.

Appearance

Dentures may improve your appearance by changing the shape of your face and reducing facial creases at the corners of your lips. Your facial expression may seem different initially until the facial muscles adapt to the dentures.

Eating

Initially, when you are learning to use your dentures, it is best to eat soft foods. When the dentures feel more comfortable, gradually try coarser and harder foods until you are able to eat a normal diet. Avoid sticky or very hard foods. Learning to chew properly with your new dentures will take some practice.

Speaking

Wearing dentures can make a difference in the way you pronounce certain words. Practice reading aloud to overcome any speech difficulties. Any problems should be mentioned to your dentist.

When To Wear Your Dentures

Initially, your dentures should be worn as much as possible. This helps to quickly identify any areas of the denture, which may need adjusting by your dentist. Your dentures should also be taken out at night before going to bed. This gives the tissues in your mouth a chance to rest and helps maintain oral health.

Limitations of Dentures

The success of denture wearing is dependent on many things. The health and amount of bone under the denture plays a role in patient satisfaction. Normal bone and strong healthy gums over the bone do not necessarily result in successful dentures. As people grow older the bone decreases and the tissues become more fragile. As a result, the ability to wear dentures often diminishes. The persistence of a patient is an important factor in the ability to master complete dentures. Research has shown that complete dentures chew at about 1/5 the chewing capacity of natural teeth and therefore seldom perform ideally. Lower dentures move as much as 10mm during function while upper dentures move about 1mm. This is why most difficulties occur with lower dentures. While most patients find complete dentures satisfactory, there are usually some associated problems with speech, comfort and chewing and as a result some patients cannot wear their dentures. They either stop wearing them or seek additional treatment in the form of dental implants.

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