Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Removable dentures are a compromise in form and function for many who wear them. Whether it be with reduced cosmetic features, decreased taste sensation, difficulty chewing substantial foods, speech issues, or poor fit. Did you know there are complications that can arise from a poor fitting denture?

Loose Denture Issues

These can be broken down into short term and long term issues. It is important to note that you should openly communicate any issues you have with your dentist to ensure the best possible fit for you.

Short Term Issues

-Discomfort. When dentures do not fit properly, they place pressure against the gum tissues, rub against them, or feel uneven at certain spots. This may be slightly annoying at first, but over time, irritation, pain, and sores will continue to increase.

-Speech problems. If your dentures do not fit properly, you will have difficulty speaking. Usually the first noticeable clue is the inability to pronounce simple sounds like the letter S.

-Difficulty eating. Most people will struggle initally, with even the best fitting dentures, but when wearing a denture that does not fit quite right it will be even worse.

Long-Term Issues

Over time, any denture will loosen as the bone and gum tissues change. A denture that is loose from the beginning will only get worse over time. Below are some of the longer term issues you can experience.

-Swollen Gum Tissues. When dentures are loose they will irritate the gum tissues. This constant irritation will get a response in the form of inflammation and swelling in the areas affected.

-Development Of Sores And Blisters. Once an irritation occurs, mouth sores can develop. These can be quite painful.

-Nutritional Issues. Patients with loose fitting dentures will change the way they eat to accomodate the loose dentures. This can lead to poor dietary habits.

-Fungal infections. Poorly fitting dentures increase the risk of thrush, a fungal infection that results in painful white spots and red areas along the inside of the mouth. Thrush can also lead to difficulty swallowing, and may be spread to other regions of the body if not treated.

-Bacterial infection: If tissue becomes exposed due to sores or cuts, it can become infected. Additionally, stomatitis is a common oral infection from loose dentures, which causes a red and swollen inflammation of the mouth.

-Overuse of denture cream: When denture cream is perpetually used to secure loose dentures, patients may be overexposed to zinc. This has the potential to create symptoms of neuropathy, which temporarily or permanently numb various nerves in the body.

Can Poor Fitting Dentures Be Fixed?

If dentures are only slightly loose, dentures can be relined to give a better fit and more comfort. If the dentures are very loose then a new denture may be recommended. It is important to remember our mouths are constantly changing and this is especially true when the teeth are no longer present. Our teeth serve to maintain the bone levels in the mouth. Once those teeth are gone the bone will undergo remodeling. There are also marked changes in denture fit after severe weight loss.

Dental implants provide a way to permanently secure dentures and ensure a proper fit. By installing as little as 4 dental implants, your dentures can benefit from increased stability, strength, and support. Moreover, dental implants help maintain your bone levels, reducing bone loss over time.

Dentures Conclusion

If you notice problems with your dentures when you first get them, don’t overlook the issues. Communicate with your dentist. Tell them your concerns and see what options are available to you. There will always be compromises with removable dentures but comfort should not be one of them.

Dentistry is about more than just checking your teeth. Most dentists have extensive training, education, and knowledge of systemic and oral diseases, and the symptoms to be on the lookout for.  A good dentist will know how to diagnose these conditions, refer you to specialists, and sometimes prevent them from progressing. All of this adds up to comprehensive dental healthcare for you and your family.

Conditions Associated With Oral Medicine

-Oral Cancer – Can be diagnosed in early stages by your dentist. If oral cancer is not diagnosed early, it can be life threatening. About 40,000 new oral cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Overall survival rate at the 5 year mark is just 42%. However, if diagnosed early, the survival rate significantly improves to just over 90%.

Routine dental examinations include a full head and neck examination. This allows the dentist to monitor for any changes in the tissue. Also, many dentists use a VELscope for early oral cancer detection. The VELscope is a special light that allows the dentist to see changes in the tissue before the naked eye can see them. This improves chances of early diagnosis via biopsy and thus, higher chance of survival.

If oral cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the patient needs to be monitored during cancer treatment to ensure there is minimal detrimental effect to the teeth and oral tissues. Chemotherapy tends to create oral issues like xerostomia (increases chance of fungal infections of the mouth), mucositis (very painful mouth irritations), tooth decay(due to dry mouth), radiation necrosis (bone death), and periodontal disease. This is why it is recommended that care is coordinated between the oncologist, physician, and dentist.

Following treatment, it is imperative to get routine oral cancer screenings as the chance of oral cancer recurring is quite high.

-Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) – TMD issues can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. As TMD progresses it creates an imbalance in the facial muscles and bone structure leading to issues with simple facial movements and even chewing. Once it gets to this point, the issues get worse as the pain just increases as well as the imbalance. These patients will be at increased risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease since they will be unable to properly perform routine oral hygiene maintenance.

Treatment for TMD ranges from medications and steroids to manage the discomfort and pain to surgical options. Surgery is always the last resort as the surgery does not always pose the answer patients are looking for. Botox is a newer treatment used to freeze the muscles and attempting to restore facial muscular harmonies before the situation gets worse.

-Anemia- Patients who are anemic tend to lose papilla on the tongue, giving it a bald appearance, also, fissures of the tongue increase in depth. Anemics also tend to crave ace, and brgin to chew on ice. This is a habit that can easily cause tooth fractures.

-Herpes Simplx Viruses (HSV)  - This virus is responsible for cold sores (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2). Studies have shown that almost 70% of all Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus. Luckily, even if exposed they do not always show symptoms of the virus. Those that do will show the classic mouth sores around the lips. These sores or blisters can be quite uncomfortable and embarassing.

Herpes Simplex virus generally does not affect our oral health unless they are so uncomfortable that we are unable to maintain proper oral hygiene. Treatments for cold sores include changes in diet, increase intake of certain vitamins like E and Zinc, as well as pharmaceutical options. Pharmaceutical options include Xerese and Viroxyn. Both have been shown to be effective in limiting symptoms of outbreaks.

-Canker Sores (also called apthous ulcers) – Often confused with cold sores, they are very different. Most canker sores are single, isolated oral lesions usually caused by stress or trauma to oral tissues. Canker sores can occur a few times per year but are not known to be contagious. It is believed that canker sores have a genetic component to them but studies have not confirmed this to date.

It should be noted that canker sores can also be the sign of something more ominous and should be ruled out. General rule of thumb, is if they go away in under 7-10 days, only appear a few times per year, and are small there should be nothing to worry about. However, if they are large, last longer than 7-10 days and occur much more frequently, the patient should be investigated further for the presence of a systemic disorder. These disorders could include anemia, autoimmune disorders, or even inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the answer can be as easy as changing your toothpaste to a brand that is SLS (sodium laryl sulfate) free.

Treatment for canker sores include cauterization of sore (to facilitate faster healing), use of topical corticosteroid, or application of Debacterol. Most people will just allow the lesion to heal on its own. If the sore are SLS related, then changing toothpaste to a non-bubbling, SLS-free brand can bring instant relief.

-Autoimmune diseases- Many different autoimmune diseases cause issue in the mouth, or face, and jaw joint. Oral fungal infections, arthritic TMJ, oral tissue sloughing and blistering, facial rashes, bone growth, and other symptoms can give your dentist reason to refer you to an immunologist for a thorough workup.

Oral Medicine Conclusion

The bottom line is a well educated and trained dentist is capable of diagnosing more than just tooth decay. Your oral health is inherently linked with your general health. Understanding the importance of regular dental care for you and your family will allow you to get a jump on many diseases that might develop. Early diagnosis is the key to treating many conditions and diseases.