The majority of modern dentures look natural and fit well. However, no denture is effective and comfortable as natural teeth. In natural tooth, the forces of biting and chewing are alleviated by the teeth themselves, tooth roots, and special “amortizing” material, periodontal tissue, which surround and support the teeth.
In dentures, however, these forces are amortizing in an unnatural way. The most critical is the pressure of the denture base on gums, especially if a person wears the denture constantly, day and night. Pressure can cause inflammation and, over time, mouth ulcers. The base of the denture may also abnormally press the natural teeth to which it is attached. In addition, partial dentures, especially if they are not properly placed, “catch” the remains of food that can cause caries, and often gingivitis or gingival abscess.
The fungus that causes inflammation of the mouth mucosa can also cause a condition known as stomatitis prothetica, especially if you have taken antibiotics or if your resistance to infection is reduced due to illness.
The first symptom of excessive pressure on the gums is the pain when the denture is in place, especially when eating, as well as the red inflamed gums. If the inflammation does not decrease, the gums turn dark red, become soft and can bleed easily – for example, they are scratched with a toothbrush. If the denture is rubbing on the gums, the oral ulcer may develop.
After several years of wearing a denture, granulomatous proteins will appear on the main spots of pressure, especially under the edges of the denture. Additional symptoms occur as a result of contraction of the gums and the jaw – which more or less inevitably occurs after several years of constant pressure, even if you did not have any other denture problems. In that case, you will have to close your mouth even more to bite properly – especially if your fake teeth are worn out. In the symptom of tightness of the gums and jaw we can count the loosening of the denture, the inflammation of the cheeks and the protruding lower jaw. Much less frequent are pain in the jaw joints, which are the result of additional movements, required for biting.
The symptoms of denture stomatitis (prosthetic stomatitis) are redness, the softness of the part of the palate that is usually covered by denture, and inflamed or broken skin at the corners of the mouth.
If you need to significantly change your jaw and mouth movements due to the slow lifting of your jawbone and gums, it will be hard for you to adapt to a new denture after a few years – although you will need it.
What to do?
If you have a complete denture, the dentist should control it at least every two years. If you have a partial or some other type of denture, you go to the dentist more often – every six months – to preserve the natural teeth. If you experience pain, ulcers, bleeding in the mouth or symptoms of prosthetic stomatitis, go as soon as possible to the dentist.
Self-help: remove te denture at night, so your gums can rest. Hold it in a glass of water to avoid drying or twisting. In the morning, a partial denture may seem somewhat tight, but this is normal and the feeling disappears in a few minutes. Clean your denture daily according to the dentist’s instructions and thoroughly clean your natural tooth and gums.
If you have a prosthetic stomatitis, be careful to keep your denture clean and keep it at night in a special antiseptic remedy.
Professional help: the duration of the denture varies considerably – from six months to five or more years – which depends on changes of the shape of the gums and the jaw. If your denture wears out and won’t fit as before, the dentist will create a new one or, if the false teeth are not too worn out, adjust the existing denture base to the new shape of the gums. For the treatment of prosthetic stomatitis, the dentist will prescribe anti-fungi lozenges that should solve your problems in about ten days or so.
Some people have a constant discomfort with the denture, and they never really adapt. Also, adapting to a new dentrue becomes increasingly difficult with years.