At our Niagara dentures clinic, we receive this question a lot: “Why are my dentures loose?” There are
numerous causes but most of them can be fixed easily. In other cases, it could require several
appointments.

How do I know I have loose dentures?

Usually, it is very noticeable when your dentures are loose. They will slip out of place easily, not feel snug and oftentimes be accompanied by slight discomfort or clicking sounds. Having to actively use your tongue to hold your dentures in place or to be extra careful about certain mouth movements, or the heavy and daily use of adhesives are signs that you have loose dentures. Mouth sores or difficulties eating are also a giveaway that something’s wrong with the fit of the denture.

Did you know the shape of your mouth is constantly changing?

It’s true! Our mouths are constantly changing however slowly it may be. We barely notice the change because it happens over time. The gums and bone that make up the foundation for the denture to sit on slowly shrink away. To make matters worse, the teeth on your dentures slowly wear down as well. Evidently, this slowly closes the distance between your chin and nose as you start compensating by closing your mouth further to keep your teeth in contact. This could lead to detrimental effects on your temporomandibular joints, also known as your TMJs.

How do dentures affect the changing shape of my mouth?

Dentures can indirectly speed up the constant change in your mouth negatively. Poor fit leading to uneven pressure can lead to atrophy of the underlying bone causing it to change its shape. For example, if you have your natural front teeth for your lower jaw but no teeth for the top, you may notice that your upper front ridge is smaller than your upper back ridges. The shape will change from a more rectangular shape to a triangular shape. This is why we, your denturists, always recommend going to your annual check ups to make sure the bite is even and the forces are distributed evenly.

Why do the gums around dentures shrink?

Gums are there to support teeth. With no teeth to hold in place, they slowly resorb back down into the bone as mentioned above. Excessive stress and pressure from ill fitting dentures or missing teeth can also contribute to a higher rate of bone loss. In general, a healthy diet and chewing solid foods across an even surface can help keep the gums strong.

Does your mouth change as well?

The lips, tongue, and cheeks are constantly moving and use the muscles that control them. Now that the teeth are not in place and the gums shrink, the surrounding muscles will invade these areas without restriction. Unless there is a denture in place from the beginning or the ridges remain prominent, any new denture placed will feel the movement of these bigger muscles and can lead to “bumping” the denture out easily. With traditional and conventional dentures, there’s no way to fix this regardless of how many adjustments or new denture designs that get made.

Is your brain adapting to your dentures?

Our brains are used to our mouths being a certain way. Throw in dentures and that’s a lot of reprogramming that has to happen. How to chew, speak, smile, where we place the tongue, how we move our lips, and other components related to facial movement is an adjustment for the brain. This can take time to occur. Patience is sometimes an unfortunate demand.

Do your dentures need a design adjustment?

One common reason for loose dentures is that there’s a design flaw. This can come from an inaccurate mold or incorrect extensions of your denture. Sometimes a simple fix could entail trimming certain areas of the denture for it to better fit your mouth. In other situations, a reline would have to be done for more stability if the denture extensions are too short.

Is the bite wrong?

If your teeth aren’t hitting together at the same time, the denture’s going to want to tilt and eventually will. Uneven teeth can cause pain and unevenly lift or loosen the denture. The bite should be checked to rule out this possibility.

Will I have to use a dental adhesive to fix loose dentures?

Denture adhesives come in various forms – creams, powders, and strips. Dental adhesives can be an easy, affordable solution to an imperfect, loose fit. Admittedly, an adhesive can make a denture feel more secure when eating, speaking, or if they’re new dentures and you’re getting used to the fit. There isn’t anything wrong per se in using them in very small amounts, however ingesting huge amounts daily could lead to future health concerns. Not only that, but the adhesive can hide the fact that micro stress fractures build in your denture over time because the foundation that makes up your gums isn’t a tight fit against the denture, leading to a break in the future. But… who really wants to apply adhesive and have to clean up the mess afterwards, sometimes multiple times a day, anyway?

Is another type of denture a possible solution?

There’s no reason to live life worrying about whether your dentures are going to stay in place. A skilled denturist in Niagara might recommend something like an implant-supported denture or suction dentures as a solution to your loose dentures. There are options, if you have loose dentures. Speak to a denturist today at Hayven Dentures Clinic in St. Catharines to find out more information on how we can help.