Most adults opt to replace missing teeth with dentures for aesthetic and practical reasons. Whether it’s a full set or just partial, a set of well-made and properly fitted dentures can alter a person’s appearance, boost their confidence, and make a huge difference in their daily activities.
A set of well-made and properly fitted dentures can alter a person’s appearance, boost their confidence, and make a huge difference in their daily activities.
If you or someone in your care uses dentures, you will probably agree that loose dentures are a nuisance. But did you know that loose-fitting dentures can also:
- Affect the way a person speaks
- Be uncomfortable or even painful to wear
- Make awkward clicking or snapping noises while chewing
- Cause embarrassment if the dentures keep falling down, especially in public
Health Issues Caused by Poor-Fitting Dentures
Poor fitting dentures can also cause the following health issues:
Unhealthy eating habits – Poor-fitting dentures can make eating a painful or uncomfortable experience. Some denture wearers cope with the pain and discomfort by eating foods that are easier to chew, which excludes many healthy foods that are fibrous or have harder textures, such as vegetables, meat, nuts, and seeds. This may solve the issue in the short term, but over time can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, or even an eating disorder. As a caregiver, if you see signs of extreme weight loss or a change in eating habits, consider taking the person in your care to a dentist to have their dentures examined and resized if needed.
Gum and mouth irritation – Loose dentures can chafe the gums, causing mild or severe inflammation of the mouth. Swollen gums can easily become infected so be on the lookout for red, angry-looking gums or a white plaque.
Changes to the jaw joint – Dentures that don’t fit properly can affect someone’s bite, leading to changes in the jaw joint. In turn, this can result in joint pain, headaches, pain in the neck and/or facial muscles, and can be severe enough to impact day-to-day living.
Jaw bone atrophy – Jaw bone atrophy is the most serious problem related to dentures because, unlike other bones in the body, the jaw bone cannot form new bone tissue. Constant wear and tear on the jaw bone causes it to literally dissolve under pressure in a process called resorption.
You can help prevent these issues by scheduling regular dental appointments for the person in your care and observing their mouth health in between appointments. See a dentist right away if you recognize any of the above signs.
A Home Support Worker can accompany the person in your care to the dentist, or other appointments, when you can’t get time off work to take them yourself. Call us at 1-855-275-3549 to learn more about our Help at Home services.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Dentures were not designed to last a lifetime; on average, they can last up to 10 years before they need to be repaired or replaced. Time, normal wear and tear, and our mouths naturally changing shape as we age are some factors that can alter the original fit of dentures. Handling the dentures with care and practicing good oral hygiene can help make dentures last as long as possible, and help the person in your care stay comfortable and healthy.
How to Care for Dentures
Did you know that plaque and tartar can also build up on dentures just as they do on real teeth?
Here are some tips for proper denture care:
- Brush dentures daily to remove food deposits and plaque, and to help prevent staining.
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean dentures and massage gums, tongue, and palate every day before inserting dentures. This helps to stimulate soft tissues and help remove plaque buildup.
- At night, soak dentures in a denture cleaning solution or a mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar to prevent them from drying out. If the dentures have metal clasps, soak them only in warm water, not vinegar.
- Don’t try to fix broken, chipped, cracked, or loose dentures yourself. Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory using equipment not normally found around the house. Take damaged dentures to a dentist for repair.
Following these tips can help prolong the life of your dentures and minimize the risk for future health issues due to loose dentures and poor oral hygiene.