Dentures & Denture Problems: What Seniors Need to Know

Woman holds dentures and her cheek in painProper care of the mouth is important for everyone, but is especially important for seniors with dentures (also called “plates”).

If dentures don’t fit properly, they can cause painful sores that may become infected, making it difficult to eat or speak.

You might find you have less confidence in your smile and are discouraged from wearing your dentures at all – often leading to unhealthy eating habits, weight loss, and other problems.

Going to the Dentist for Adjustments

If you’re transitioning to dentures for the first time, or even if you’ve had dentures for a long time, dentists can adjust and refit the denture to be as comfortable as possible.

Even so, denture sores can happen, and shouldn’t be ignored.

Tips for Avoiding Denture Problems

  • Give yourself time. New dentures require time for you to get used to them. New dentures often require more adjusting from your dentist after the first fitting and may be uncomfortable at first.
  • Schedule an adjustment. If you are beginning to see sores on your gums or tongue, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist so the denture can be adjusted. During the appointment, the dentist will place a soft, gum-like material in the denture to provide a cushion.
  • Drink nutrition shakes. As you adjust to your new denture, drink nutrition shakes as a meal replacement to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
  • Give yourself breaks. Remove your denture for at least 4 hours a day. When you do, store it in a denture solution or water to help it hold its shape.
  • Pay attention to your body weight. Losing or gaining weight can have an impact on how well your denture fits. If you notice significant weight changes, schedule an appointment with your dentist to check the fit and adjust as needed.
  • Use the right amount of denture cream. Denture creams can work well when used properly. A small amount can be used to seal the denture. However, you should never rely on denture cream to force an ill-fitting denture to fit.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Regular appointments will allow your dentist to check your denture or partial plates and clean any remaining teeth that may help hold them in place.
  • Brush regularly. Remember to brush your dentures each day to remove bacteria and food particles, which can lead to gum irritation and infection.

About the Author

Bridgett A. Rassett, LDA

The information on this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Tooth Wisdom® and Oral Health America do not recommend or endorse any specific dentists, products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned. See full Terms & Conditions.

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