When it comes to proper denture fit, it’s normally the lower denture that tends to be loose. The upper denture, which has a larger base and can create a better seal against the roof of your mouth, normally has no trouble staying in place. Part of the problem with the fit of the lower denture is the position of your tongue. Training yourself to hold your tongue in the proper position can lead to better denture fit.

Normal vs. Retracted Tongue Position

dreamstime_s_25601486Denture fit is best with your tongue in what is described as a normal tongue position. In this position, the tip of your tongue is just behind the alveolar ridge (the bony ridge that used to hold your teeth) with the rest of the tongue arched against the roof of your mouth behind it.

In a retracted tongue position, the tongue is pulled back in the mouth, which changes the shape of the oral cavity, making it hard for your lower dentures to create a seal that maintains vacuum retention.

If you have a retracted tongue position, you are likely to have poor fit of your lower denture, but if you can train yourself to achieve a normal tongue position, you will find that the fit improves significantly. In fact, one study showed that with the tongue in a normal position, the retention of dentures was improved by nearly 58%. That’s a lot fewer times when your denture is going to come loose.

Tongue Fidgeting

Another issue some may have with their tongue, leading to poor fit, is fidgeting. Some people have a tendency to fidget with their dentures using their tongue. Most often, they will play with their lower dentures, slipping the tongue underneath the denture and flipping it up. This can affect the fit of the denture and make it hard to maintain the seal that keeps the denture in place. People with this habit should try to avoid it.

Tongue Exercises Improve Control

One problem with trying to manage tongue position with dentures is that most of us don’t really think about what our tongue is doing. It just does its thing automatically. One way to get past this problem is to talk in front of a mirror. Watch your tongue position and become familiar with how it is controlled.

Another way to get control of your tongue is to try tongue exercises. There are many different tongue exercise sequences you can try. The conscious repetition of motions will put you in a better position for keeping your tongue where it needs to be to retain your dentures.

Still Having Denture Fit Problems?

On the other hand, it may not be your tongue that is causing denture fit problems. Instead, your dentures may just be poorly fitted.

If you are looking for better-fitting dentures, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today.