The truth is that most people wear their dentures
long after they have ceased to be effective. They may not realize that their dentures are badly worn and in need of replacing, because their dentures feel comfortable. Unfortunately, what they’re not feeling is the damage that may be being done by these bad dentures.
Worn Teeth and Bad Bite
Every time you bring your dentures together, whether it’s for chewing or for bracing your muscles as you walk, they can become worn. Over time, the teeth lose height and your bite loses its efficiency. You may not notice that you’re not able to chew as well as you used to, or perhaps your dentures were never all that great for chewing with in the first place. But the truth is that new, properly fitting dentures will improve your ability to chew.
Another problem with worn dentures is that they can lead to imbalanced forces in your mouth. Unlike the sharp pinch points that can come from dentures that are poorly fitted from the beginning, this type of excess pressure may not feel painful, but the dull pressure can nonetheless speed the loss of jawbone underneath.
Another problem you may not notice that can be caused by worn dentures is a loss of stability. Because the stability of the jaw is important to balance, properly fitting dentures actually help you walk and can reduce the risk of falls.
As you lose jawbone under your dentures, your denture fit changes. In order to restore the fit of your dentures, a denture dentist will do what’s called a reline. They will add plastic to the base of the dentures, building them up to accommodate the loss of jawbone.
Unfortunately, this process only really works for a little while. Although it can always help you achieve a better fit with your dentures, it’s usually not as good as the fit you can get from a new set of dentures. Over time, the cumulative errors of successive relining procedures can lead to a significant change in the way your dentures fit. They may be secure, but they may also be contributing to a bad bite.
Faded and Degraded Plastic
Plastic is relatively stable, but over time it can begin to change. Depending on the type of plastic your dentures and other components are made of, they may become more rigid or less so. This not only makes them more liable to getting broken, but it changes the way they function in your mouth.
Your dentures can also become faded or discolored over time. There are many factors that may contribute to fading of your dentures, such as if you’re using a homemade denture cleaning that uses bleach, or if you tend to eat certain discoloring foods, drink discoloring beverages, or use tobacco.
Even If Dentures Are Comfortable
Most people think that if dentures are comfortable, and seem to fit reasonably well, they don’t need to be replaced, but as we’ve seen that comfort can actually be concealing a number of changes that have occurred slowly over time, but are nonetheless serious and mean that your dentures need to be replaced.
If it’s been several years since you replaced your dentures, you should talk to a FOY® Dentures dentist about getting new, better-fitting dentures.