As you get older, you may lose your teeth over a period of time due to natural process of aging, tooth decay, disease or injury. This will lead to your facial muscles sagging, thereby making you look older. Replacing missing teeth with dentures restores your confidence and smile. It also makes it easier to speak and eat better, thus helping you to maintain your health.
Types of dentures
There are several types of dentures available and your dentist will guide you through the process of determining which is the right fit for your mouth.
- Conventional dentures: The dentist will place the fully removable dentures in your mouth only the remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed completely. This may be done over a period of a few months.
- Immediate dentures: During a preliminary visit, your dentist will take measurements and prepare a model of your jaw. The dentures will be inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. After the jaw is healed, the dentures may have to be remade or re-aligned.
- Over-dentures or implants: Sometimes your dentist may be able to save a few of your natural teeth that will then help preserve your jawbone and provide support for the denture. Your dentist will fit an over-denture over the remaining natural teeth.
It takes time to get adjusted to your new dentures and you may often think that they don’t fit very well, feel either too large, may cause gagging or create extra saliva. Discuss with your dentist when you feel any or all of these symptoms.
Some of the challenges that you may face with your new dentures
- Too much saliva: Initially, you may feel that there is too much saliva in your mouth. This is because your mouth has a foreign object inside and your salivary glands work in overdrive. There will be a period of adjustment. In the meantime, try to swallow more or have a mint or candy.
- Mouth sores:As soon as you start wearing dentures, you find yourself suffering from mouth sores and pain. Your dentist will recommend a denture adhesive that will help prevent the dentures from moving around and causing irritation and thereby help reduce mouth sores. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water also helps reduce irritation.
- A feeling of “Full-mouth”: As soon as you start wearing your dentures, you may feel that they are too big for your mouth or that your lips feel as if they are being pushed forward. Continue to wear your dentures so that your muscles in your mouth get adjusted to keeping them in place.
- Slipping dentures: Sometimes, your dentures may slip and keep moving around your mouth because your tongue muscles, lips and cheek are still getting used to the foreign object. A denture adhesive will help keep the dentures in place.
- Ill-fitting dentures: Your dentures may feel loose over a period of time since they rest on gum tissue and jawbone which may shrink over a period of time. Your dentist will check the alignment and recommend an adjustment or a replacement.
Even though dentures may present a few challenges initially, your dentist is available to guide you through them and help you enjoy the simple pleasures of eating and enjoying a conversation with a wonderful smile.