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When dentures don’t fit

 When you get your dentures, you might think that they’re good forever.

Unfortunately, though, that doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Because you’ve noticed they’re starting to feel a little…off. You might even be gagging slightly when you put them in. They just don’t fit right.

What gives? Aren’t dentures solid?

The reason your dentures stop fitting

Of course, it’s possible that your dentures were improperly sized when you first got them, but that tends to be rare. Denture impression materials today are better than they’ve ever been, as is the process by which we make them. We’ve come a long way since George Washington’s set of wooden teeth.

The more likely explanation is a simple one: the dentures didn’t change. You did.

Over time your gums and your bones change. Even if this change is incremental, the net result is that your dentures won’t fit the same way. The biggest change is early on—once your teeth are extracted, the bone that used to fit around them begins to shrink away. Some have an immediate retraction while for others it takes more time, but the end result is the same: the denture fit changes. Part of it is the pressure of the dentures on that bony ridge. It will continue to change, however gradually, over the time in which you have your dentures.

That process is called “ridge resorption”, and it eventually starts to change the shape of your face as your mouth and jawline slowly adjust. That’s part of the reason it’s recommended that you remove your dentures at night—it slows down that process. When we sleep we tend to grind or clench our jaws, which hastens that resorption.

Refitting your dentures

Thankfully, it’s not hard to get your dentures back to a perfect fit. Don’t try to do it yourself, no matter how easy you think it might be. You risk doing permanent damage to your dentures. Go back to the dentist and they can help you refit your dentures to your mouth, helping you get back to your regular quality of life.

Dentures are a fact of life for many older Americans. If you’re having issues with the fit of your dentures, it’s not the fault of the dentures. It’s just a natural part of life. Come visit our practice or call and schedule an appointment and we’ll help you with any of your dental needs—including a denture refit.

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