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Are Dentures Irritating Your Tongue?

Dentures are supposed to be comfortable. You should be able to put them in when you wake up and keep them in all day–except for maybe a quick cleaning or two–without feeling really uncomfortable. Unfortunately, many dentures are just too uncomfortable to be worn for a full day. They can cause irritation of your gums, discomfort in your jaw joints, and sometimes they can irritate your tongue.

Here’s why dentures are causing tongue irritation and what can be done about it.

Irritation Under Your Tongue

The underside of the tongue is very sensitive. Nothing is supposed to be under there, which is why something as simple as holding a thermometer under the tongue can be annoying. Lower dentures can be much more irritating, especially if they’re poorly designed.

Denture pain under the tongue can be caused by a poor distribution of forces from the upper denture. If your lower denture doesn’t distribute bite forces properly, it can press down on the flange that rests on the floor of your mouth, under your tongue. And if the denture isn’t secure, it can slide back and forth across the floor of the mouth, resulting in irritating friction.

The flange of the lower denture may also be contacting the frenum, the thin membrane that connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Because almost any movement of your tongue causes the frenum to move, an irritated frenum can make it very hard to do anything with your tongue without pain.

Biting Your Tongue

Another problem with dentures is that they can cause you to bite your tongue more often. It’s normal to bite your tongue every once in awhile, but if it’s happening virtually every time a day or even several times a day since you got dentures, then your dentures might be the problem.

There are many issues of sizing and fit for dentures that can lead to tongue biting. Most simply, it could be that the dentures were made too narrow for your mouth. Your tongue needs room to work, especially when it’s pushing food onto your teeth, and when there’s not enough room, it will get nipped.

Tongue biting doesn’t always occur when you’re chewing. It can happen when you’re talking, or maybe even when your jaws clench together for swallowing or to brace your muscles for heavy lifting.

Tongue Irritation Caused by Poor Dentures

We can often link your tongue irritation to the poor fit of your dentures. Obviously, a properly fitted denture will distribute forces better so that it won’t be pressing down under your tongue, and the flange won’t be so large that it irritates your frenum. Implant dentures can help with this, because they don’t need a flange on the floor of your mouth.

Dentists often use the trick of moving teeth inward to try to gain stability. While this might make dentures more stable, it does increase the likelihood that you’re going to bite your tongue. FOY Dentures® use neuromuscular dentistry principles to ensure stability so that your teeth can be exactly where they should be, reducing your risk of tongue biting.

To learn more about how FOY Dentures® can reduce all kinds of denture pain, please contact a local FOY Dentures® dentist today for an appointment.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rod Strickland. Dr. Strickland is a dentist in Savannah, GA. He is the inventor of the Denture Fountain of Youth® technique.