One of the problems with dentures that people complain about is that they salivate excessively with their dentures in. At first, this is a normal response. After all, having a foreign body in the mouth can stimulate food-related responses as well as responses to non-food in the mouth (such as gagging). It will normally pass after a few days.
Getting Through a Period of Excess Salivation
In order to encourage your body to adapt and accept dentures with a normal salivary response, you have to keep wearing them. This can be hard because the excess salivation is unpleasant and hard to deal with. Here are some tips that can help you get through.
Remember This Is Normal
Don’t assume that excess salivation means there’s something wrong with your dentures.
Anxiety about your dentures will only make the adaptation period worse. Try not to think excessively about your dentures. Find distractions that will keep your mind off your dentures. For many people, excess salivation persists as long as there is anxiety about dentures.
Talk to friends who also have dentures. They will probably tell you similar stories about their adaptation period. Talking to your dentist can also help you get through this period.
In some cases, we can use medication to help control salivation. This is only a last-ditch strategy, used when we are sure there is no other good way to help you adapt.
What If Excess Salivation Persists?
If you continue having excess saliva after a few weeks of persistent denture wearing, there may be a problem with your dentures. Often it’s because your dentures are pressing on nerves or glands in your mouth that stimulates saliva production. There are many reasons why this may be the case:
- Dentures are too tall and holding your jaw in a position that stimulates nerves which should only be stimulated when chewing.
- Dentures don’t fit your bite, causing uneven pressure that, again, stimulates nerves that tell your salivary glands you’re chewing.
- Too thick dentures pressing on the cheek, tongue, or gums.
- Dentures extend too far into the corners of the mouth.
- Painful dentures.
- Foreign body sensation.
Proper fit helps you avoid excess salivation. Dentures that are too tall, don’t fit your bite, are too thick, extend too far, or cause pain will benefit from reshaping or replacing your dentures. Which is appropriate depends on the exact nature of the problem. Foreign body sensation is a difficult problem to deal with. Sometimes, this is related to fit–a denture that doesn’t feel right will feel foreign. Other times, it’s the denture itself. Implant dentures can feel more normal and can help you avoid foreign body sensation.
Other Causes of Excess Salivation
Your dentures aren’t the only cause of excess salivation. If you experience this problem, and you eliminate your dentures as a cause, consider other possibilities. Some possible causes include:
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Talk to your doctor about these potential causes to help track down the cause of salivation not linked to your dentures.
If you are looking for better-fitting dentures that can prevent excess salivation, please contact Dr. Rod Strickland, FOY® Dentures inventor today.