Is Your Dry Mouth Affecting the Fit of Your Dentures?

Dentist Blog

There are various reasons why your dentures may start to feel looser than they used to. For example, the shape of your mouth changes over time, and you may find that the false teeth that fitted snugly when you got them no longer fit that well after a few years. However, in some cases, you may have an oral health problem that makes your dentures feel loose even though they actually still fit the shape of your mouth well.

Dentures can't necessarily fit snugly in your mouth without some help from your saliva. The saliva that you naturally have in your mouth sits between your dentures and your soft tissues, creating a suction effect to help anchor your dentures into their correct position. If you have dry mouth syndrome, your mouth can't create the amount of saliva it needs, and your denture fit may suffer. How can you tell if your loose dentures are down to a dry mouth?

When Do Your Dentures Feel Loose?

If your dentures no longer fit the shape of your gums and mouth, you'll typically find that they feel loose all of the time. If your denture fit is affected by a lack of saliva, your teeth may feel like they fit at some times but don't fit so well at others.

For example, if your dentures feel more snug after a meal but feel like they get looser between meals, your mouth may not be producing enough saliva. When you eat, chewing puts more saliva in the mouth. This increase in saliva may make your dentures fit better for a while until your saliva flow dries up, at which point your denture fit may not be so effective.

Do You Have Other Dry Mouth Symptoms?

If you have dry mouth syndrome, you're likely to have more symptoms than just a bad denture fit. For example, your mouth may feel permanently dry and the saliva you do manage to produce may feel thicker than usual. You may also have other oral problems, such as bad breath, cracked lips and sores.

How to Manage a Dry Mouth to Get a Better Denture Fit

If you feel that your dentures have lost some of their snugness because of your dry mouth, you can try some home fixes to get more saliva flowing. For example, you may find the following tips useful:

  • Avoid food, drinks and oral habits that dry out your mouth. For example, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks may have a drying effect; smoking also reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth.
  • Try to get into the habit of sipping small amounts of water regularly through the day to rehydrate your mouth.
  • Eat moist or wetter foods to get more liquids flowing in your mouth.
  • Suck sugar-free mints or sweets to get your saliva flowing. If you can manage to eat gum with your dentures, sugar-free gum is also a good saliva booster.

If you can't sort out your dry mouth yourself, it's worth talking to your dentist or visiting a denture clinic. Your dentist may be able to recommend products that you can use to artificially create saliva in your mouth.  


11 May 2016

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.