Dentures General Info
What are dentures?
Experiencing some level of denture related pain is not uncommon for denture wearers. There are a number of pains commonly associated with the break-in period for new dentures, and other pains that can alert the denture wearer to a bigger problem. Tender swollen gums, pressure sores, and tired aching jaws can all be a problem at one time or another. Let's look at the three main causes of denture pain.
A bad fit can be the culprit in many common denture pains. When dentures are loose enough to rub against the gums, it usually leads to sore spots and swelling. If the denture base was not made to fit perfectly and some areas of the gum are receiving more pressure than the others, this results in a pinching of the gum tissue, causing more tenderness and swelling.
Using excessive pressure when biting or chewing with your dentures can also be a common cause of denture pain. The gum tissue is trapped between the denture base and the bone beneath, virtually between a rock and a hard place. One example that causes this type of denture related pain would be trying to bite a chunk out of an apple with the front teeth of your dentures. Standard dentures are not expected to operate in this way. It puts way too much pressure on those gum ridges, and this will surely make them tender. The same thing will likely happen if you chew tough steak. Denture wearers should alway cut hard foods into small pieces before chewing.
Shrinking gums and bones can ruin the once perfect fit of your dentures. The original denture base was modeled on the current shape of the gums at that time. Once the gum begins to change shape, the original fit is lost and the dentures are now free to move against the gums, causing sore spots. One cause for some of this shrinkage is a process called resorption. When the bone ridges in the jaw no longer have the roots of the natural teeth to provide pressure stimulus, bone production begins to decrease, eventually ceasing completely. Gum disease also causes shrinkage of the dental ridge. Dentures can be adjusted periodically to help restore a better fit, but eventually the ridge is too small to support a denture.
Pain is a common complaint for most denture wearers at one time or another. The key to eliminating denture pain is to see your denturist as soon as problems come up. An early solution for your denture pain means you'll have sweet relief that much sooner.