Why are my dentures uncomfortable?

By February 6, 2016Dentures, Hints and Tips
Denture discomfort?

No one should have to put up with permanent discomfort through denture wear. If you’re experiencing pain or irritation, it could be due to a number of treatable factors. Let’s explore why.

Any discomfort or pain in our body can be distressing – or even overwhelming. With new dentures, a certain amount of discomfort is normal and acceptable, as long as these unpleasant sensations pass. Alternatively, seasoned denture wearers may experience mouth pain because their dentures no longer fit – and it’s time for either a reline or a new pair of dentures.

Getting used to new dentures

If you’ve never worn dentures before, your new pair may take a little getting used to – regardless of whether they are partial or full dentures. Over time, though, the feeling of having a foreign body in your mouth will decrease to the point where you may not notice them much at all.

Sensations you’ll notice with new dentures include:

1. Increased salivation

This is due to your body reacting to a foreign object in your mouth, but this usually reduces once your body becomes used to your denture.

2. Sore, irritated gums

Your gums may feel sensitive with a new denture and need time to adjust. If you have sore spots or tiny ulcerations, you may require a visit to your dental prosthetist to slightly adjust your dentures and thus improve the fit.

3. Feeling that the dentures are too loose

This feeling should also subside over time. Dentures need a little time to settle – a bit like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Additionally, the muscles of your mouth (particularly in your tongue and cheeks) become better adjusted to controlling the dentures in your mouth.

Lucas lang Dental Prosthetist

4. Dislodging when coughing, yawning or sneezing

This is a normal occurrence when dentures are new or old, due to your muscle contractions and the peripheral seal being broken. Again, you will quickly learn to cover your mouth when you’re about to sneeze. Over time, as you get use your dentures, this will happen less frequently.

Use a denture brush to thoroughly clean your dentures

5. Pain due to poor hygiene

If patients don’t adhere to professional instructions regarding oral hygiene, problems can develop. Your gums or cheeks may become irritated or fungal infections may develop. Adhering to correct oral hygiene, along with cleaning your dentures daily, should prevent this occurrence.

Have a query about dentures?

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Call Dentures Plus on 9300 1515 or contact us online

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Relining your dentures

All dentures, including partial dentures, need to be relined over time. This is because our bones and gums change over time, particularly where we no longer have teeth. It’s essential to maintain regular checkups with your dental prosthetist so that they can assess your mouth and make any necessary adjustments. When the dental prosthetist gives you a new fitting surface to the base of your denture, it is known as a reline. The teeth in your denture are not changed.

If you’ve had your dentures for a while and have started to experience pain, it could be because it is time for a reline. Remember – never try to repair or adjust your denture yourself.

Other reasons for denture pain

Dentures may cause pain for all sorts of reasons, but most of them are treatable. Here are a few to look out for:

1. The bite is wrong

If the bite is wrong, it can cause many of problems. When the dental prosthetist takes your bite registration during the fabrication of your dentures, he or she needs to make sure you are in the most comfortable retruded bite position as possible.

If the bite is out and there is premature contact during mastication, it can cause undesirable load in certain areas of your gums, potentially giving you ulcers. It can also dislodge both upper and lower denture, making it almost impossible to eat.

If your bite is out and you feel as though your denture teeth are touching on one side before the other, you will need to see your dental prosthetist to adjust the occlusion. However, if the bite is completely incorrect, your denture clinic may need to remake your denture from scratch.

2. Tags of acrylic

With new dentures, sometimes a tiny tag of acrylic from the final processing may be left inside the denture. These little tags can be quite sharp and horribly uncomfortable. Fortunately, though, it takes the dental prosthetist just seconds to remove these little nasties.

3. Sharp edges at the back of the palate

With upper dentures, to get the most suction, the back edge of the denture will extend right along the roof of your mouth, stopping at the end of the hard palate. This may dig in uncomfortably and require adjustment. Once again, this is an easy fix.

4. Pressure points

Sometimes a denture doesn’t fit properly, and the inner surface is shaped differently to your gums (this is possibly due to a discrepancy in the impression material at the impression time), so it may press and your gums when you bite, causing pain. This may cause slight irritation, or it could lead to terrible pain or your denture to fit poorly. Discuss this with your dental prosthetist as you may simply need an adjustment reline.

Lucas Lang, dental prosthetist

5. An old tooth root

You may have had a tooth extracted years ago where a tiny bit of tooth root was left deep below the gum line. Occasionally, after many years, the jawbone may shrink, and the tooth root may become exposed. This area where the root meets the gum, and rubs on the denture, can be exceedingly irritating. The solution? Remove the root. Simple!

6. Nerve compression

This problem usually only occurs with elderly people that have been wearing dentures for decades. Over time, the lower jaw slowly shrinks, exposing a small hole on each side of the chin, where the “mental nerve” comes out. In an elderly individual where the bone has been worn away, the lower denture may press down on this nerve causing considerable pain. The dental prosthetist will have to modify the denture with a soft acrylic to cushion the area. However, this procedure may have to be repeatedly performed throughout the lifetime of the denture, as the soft lining material can harden over time.

7. Thin gum tissues

Another joy of ageing, our skin and gum tissues becomes thinner and more sensitive. This makes it easier for us to get pressure points in our gums where the denture rubs against the tissues. Again, your dental prosthetist can address this problem by lining the denture with a softer material.

Denture being made in our in-house denture lab

Time for new dentures

Dentures don’t last forever. Most people get five to seven years of wear out of their dentures before they require a new pair. Some dentures Perth people wear are made of better materials than others, so it pays to see an experienced dental prosthetist that can provide the best dentures for you – along with optimal care and advice.

When there are no teeth in the jaw, our bones and gums change more quickly than they would otherwise. Therefore, a set of dentures that fit you well several years ago will no longer fit so well. This is why you will require a new set of dentures every few years. Denture relines will be adequate for a certain amount of time, but eventually, you will need a new pair made up.


Signs that it’s time for new dentures:

  • Poor fit – causing discomfort, irritation or even sore spots
  • Poor retention – the denture fails to stay up
  • Poor stability – the denture shifts left and right while eating
  • Poor aesthetics– the denture teeth stain, chip and wear and may no longer look suitable or presentable
  • The denture has broken repeatedly – sometimes it’s time to throw away the denture and start again

Have a query about dentures?

Talk to Dentures Plus today!

Call Dentures Plus on 9300 1515 or contact us online. Dental finance available.

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