Help! Dry Mouth Makes My Dentures Hurt

As common as it is for some people to salivate excessively with dentures, it’s even more common for people to have the opposite experience: they have dry mouth (technically known as xerostomia). This isn’t usually caused by dentures, but it can have serious consequences for denture wearers. Saliva isn’t just water in your mouth, it’s a complex organic blend that lubricates your mouth and helps fight off bacteria. Without it, your dentures can chafe, causing uncomfortable sores, and you are at an elevated risk of gum disease. The good news is, though, there are many ways to treat dry mouth to make your dentures more comfortable to wear.

Identify the Cause of Dry Mouth

dreamstime_xs_39904680You can’t know how best to treat dry mouth unless you know what’s causing it. Here are some of the more common causes of dry mouth that you should consider:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Dehydration
  • Medications
  • Illnesses
  • Poorly fitting dentures

Radiation therapy is the easiest to consider and discard. Either you’ve gotten radiation treatment or you haven’t. Dehydration can be tested just by increasing your fluid intake. Xerostomia is one of the more common side effects of medication, so if you’re taking one or more prescriptions, you should look at the labels or talk to your doctor to learn whether your medication might be responsible. Illnesses that can cause dry mouth include Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Finally, dentures themselves can in some cases be responsible for dry mouth. They may prevent stimulation of salivary glands or cause you to hold your mouth open, drying your mouth out.

Managing Dry Mouth

It’s always best to try just drinking more fluids to see if that helps your dry mouth. If it doesn’t and you think medications might be responsible for your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about alternative prescriptions.

Saliva substitutes are another option. They work a little better than water for keeping your dentures lubricated. You can also try sialagogues–saliva production stimulants. These can be as simple as a hard candy–preferably sugar-free–that you suck on. You could also use gum, but it’s hard to chew with dentures. More advanced sialagogues include prescription medications.

And if you suspect that your dentures are part of the problem, replacement dentures can help you overcome your dry mouth.

The best solution for you may be a combination of multiple approaches.

If you think better-fitting dentures might help you overcome dry mouth, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today for a consultation.

By |January 8th, 2015|Dentures, Comfort|

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.