There is a lot more to dentures than you may initially realise. Below you will find some of the more common difficulties associated with the denture wearing process.
Gum ShrinkageWhen natural teeth are lost, all that is left are bony ridges which used to hold teeth. Dentures rest on these ridges. Over time, these ridges shrink in a process known as atrophy or resorption. This will continue throughout life. However, this process varies from person to person and is the main reason people have difficulty wearing dentures.
Lower Ridge ShapesRidges can be square or rounded in shape, with a smooth surface. These are generally suitable for denture wearing. The less favourable shape tends to have either flat or small 'v' shaped ridges which provide little to no support for the denture. Other shape extremes such as bony gums can cause soreness. Very fleshy mouths allow the denture to move and can be difficult to fit with a trouble free lower denture.
Lower Denture IssuesLower dentures have to operate in a constantly moving environment – the lips, cheeks, and tongue tend to try and dislodge the denture when speaking, eating, or swallowing. The lower ridge is also smaller than the upper as it is prone to up to four times more shrinkage than the upper. There is also no large surface on which to create suction or balance as there is in the upper jaw from the palate. This can often cause a lower denture to move around or trap food underneath as the ridge shrinks.
Over time, you will learn to control your facial muscles which is essential for new dentures and for prolonged success. If you push your lower denture around with your tongue or try to put your tongue underneath it, you will find that the denture will lift easily and will not stay in place. It is advised to avoid starting this habit.