If your dentures have begun to slide on your gums a little bit, and your mouth is becoming sore, then a denture cushion may provide some temporary relief until you can get the problem properly taken care by your denture professional.
The words "denture cushion" may mean different things to different people. In the strictest sense, a denture cushion refers to prosthetic device. The device is usually referred to as a cushion or pad that is made from cotton impregnated with wax. These over-the-counter items are inserted into the inner surface of the denture base where the denture normally meets the gums. The denture is then put in by the denture wearer and the cushion conforms to the open areas under the denture, thus molding over the gum ridge. This results in a snug fitting denture that no longer moves around on the gums. With the new tighter fit, the denture wearer now has more comfort and can resume normal chewing without the additional pain. Denture cushions are a disposable item and should be removed and discarded each night as part of your cleaning routine.
Denture cushions should only be a temporary solution at best. Wearing the cushions further reduces the amount of pressure stimulus to the boney ridges which results in a faster rate of bone loss. When bone loss reaches a critical point, there is no longer enough bone left for the denture to hold on to, making standard dentures no longer an option. At this point the denture wearer has a lot bigger problem than they started with.
Now that we know what a denture cushion actually is, let's discuss another type of adjustment method that is also referred to in some sense as a denture cushion.
When dentures no longer fit properly due to gum shrinkage, it eventually becomes necessary to have them relined. Let's look at the process.
The most typical way to reline dentures is to have the denture base coated with a flexible resin base. This base coating works as a filler for the gaps between the denture base and the current shape of the gums. The flexible resin has two major effects on the denture. First, it restores the denture to a fit that matches the gums, so denture wearers have the necessary grip to chew properly again. Secondly, the resin provides a cushioning effect between the gum ridge and the denture base. No more pain. A good reline can extend the life of the denture and will need to be performed approximately every two years, depending the rate the gums are shrinking.
Your denture professional can recommend the best temporary cushion for you.