Signs Your Dentures Need to Be Replaced
By J. Brent Gorrell on July 02, 2018
When it comes to missing teeth, there are several restorative dentistry options available. Traditional full and partial dentures are cost-effective solutions for patients with missing teeth. Crafted from high-quality, durable dental materials, they are made to last. However, they will not last forever.
How can you know when it is time to consider a new prosthetic? Today, our team at Gorrell Smiles in Mountain View, CA explores some of the most common signs your dentures need to be replaced.
How Long Should Dentures Last?
Although dentures can be crafted from a wide variety of dental materials, ranging from acrylic to ceramic porcelain, they all have about the same life expectancy: approximately seven to ten years. Therefore, if you have been wearing the same set of dentures for more than ten years, it is crucial to have your prosthesis assessed routinely by a dental professional.
The first sign that something is not quite right is a loose, wobbly denture. This is a common complaint among long-time denture-wearers. But, why?
When patients are first fitted for dentures, their appliance is made to fit their current oral anatomy. Over time, the jawbone ridge shrinks. This is called bone atrophy, and it is a common occurrence following tooth loss.
As these changes take place, the denture begins to shift and move around when chewing and speaking. If you are noticing these types of issues, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
A broken denture requires the immediate assistance of a dentist. Although it can be tempting to repair the damage at home with a do-it-yourself kit, this will only exacerbate the problem. A broken denture can lead to serious oral health complications, including orofacial pain and TMJ disorder.
If one or more teeth have broken off of your denture, it can typically be repaired by a lab technician. If the denture base is fractured, you may require a new appliance.
Sores or Lesions
Because ill-fitting dentures tend to move around and rub the gum tissue, many patients develop sores or lesions. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also make individuals more susceptible to oral infections.
Sudden Pain or Discomfort
Dentures are intended to open the bite and align the jaw joints. This takes pressure off of the associated muscles and allows for comfortable chewing.
However, when bone loss begins, the fit of the denture changes. This can alter the bite, placing excess pressure on the nerves and muscles in the area. If you notice unexplained or sudden pain or discomfort, your denture could be to blame.
Dentures that Are Difficult to Keep Clean
As bone atrophy continues through the years, the space between your denture and the bone ridge increases. As a result, you may become more likely to trap food in the area. If it is becoming more difficult to keep your dentures clean, then you may need a replacement.
In addition, it is also common for your dentures to develop tiny cracks or hairline fractures over time. When this occurs, bacteria can hide and repopulate in these crevices. This can lead to bad breath as well as oral infections such as thrush. If you develop any of these problems, it could be time to replace your denture.
Contact Gorrell Smiles Today
If it has been awhile since you had your dentures assessed, schedule a consultation at our practice. We can help you determine the condition of your appliance and help you maintain it for as long as possible. Contact us online or call us at (650) 399-9657.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.