According to DentureLiving.com, some 36 million Americans wear dentures. For people who have lost some or all of their teeth, they are a way to regain proper chewing function as well as their self-confidence. Over time, however, your denture’s once-perfect fit may start to feel loose. This article from Yahoo! Voices explains why this happens and offers some suggestions on what you can do about it:
Dentures get loose over time. Your jawbones has [sic] likely shrunk. Jawbones lose density with age like all bones. This will change the shape of your mouth and cause your dentures to “unseat”. There are several solutions:
-Fill it [sic] the loose spots with denture adhesive, but this is just a temporary measure.
-See your dentist. He or she may need to realign (refit) your dentures. She may also need to re-base your dentures; this requires making a new base for your existing set. Worst case scenario is that you will need a new pair of dentures. To prevent this from happening, let your dental professional know as soon as your dentures begin to feel loose. She or he can likely repair your existing dentures and save you money.
Loose dentures can trigger the development of painful mouth sores and can also cause indigestion, since poor fit hinders the proper chewing of food. Studies also show that ill-fitting dentures affect nutrition because people avoid healthy foods like fruits and vegetables since they are harder to chew. Aside from this, many people use denture creams to keep their dentures in place, but the zinc they contain can deplete your body’s copper supply and result in painful tingling sensations or numbness in the hands and feet— a condition known as neuropathy.
While the suggestions above are possible solutions, dentists like Dr. Kent Davis of Dentures Done Right recommend denture implants to achieve perfect fit, a procedure that is considerably less expensive and invasive than traditional dental implants. It involves implanting four small titanium posts into the upper and lower jaw which are then allowed to heal and integrate naturally into the jawbone.
Once the posts are fully stabilized, your dentist will modify your current dentures so they can snap onto the posts, effectively becoming permanent dentures. Since they’ll no longer shift in your mouth, denture creams or adhesives will no longer be necessary.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Common Denture Problems and How to Correct Them, Yahoo! Voices, 21 March 2011)