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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.

Thumb sucking is a common habit and natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or whatever they can get in their mouth may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Thumb sucking can continue as a child grows. They will use the thumb sucking to soothe themselves or help themselves fall asleep.

Is Thumb sucking normal?

Babies have a natural rooting and sucking reflex. This can cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths. Thumb sucking can sometimes can occur even before birth. Because thumb sucking is soothing to babies, some slowly develop a habit of thumb sucking when they are tired, anxious or simply bored. Some children who are thumb suckers will only suck their thumb, while some will need to hold an object they treasure, like a security blanket or soft stuffed animal.

Does Thumb sucking cause any problems?

Unfortunately thumb sucking can cause problems for children if it continues. Thumb sucking in children younger than 4 is usually not an issue for development. Children who suck their thumbs often or with increased aggressiveness after 4-5 years of age, or those who are still sucking their

effects of thum sucking

Effects of Thumb sucking

thumbs at age 6, are at risk for dental  or speech problems. Once the permanent teeth begin to come in and develop in the mouth, the persistent thumb sucking may cause top teeth to push out and upward, and bottom teeth to push inward. This tooth movement can cause development of a “buck tooth” appearance, an inability to close the front teeth (open bite), damage to the roof of the mouth, and subsequent speech issues. Pacifiers cause similar issues as thumb sucking but the habit of using the pacifier is a far easier habit to break, it can be thrown out, a finger can not. What determines if thumb sucking causes dental problems or not is the intensity and length of time of the thumb sucking. Checking a child’s thumb for damaged skin and calluses can help determine the aggressiveness of the thumb sucking habit. Many children simply rest their thumbs in their mouth. These children are far less likely to develop any long term issues from their version of thumb sucking. On the other hand, an aggressive thumb sucker may develop issues with their primary and permanent teeth (if they are still thumb sucking at that point when they erupt.

Speech problems caused by thumb sucking are related to the misaligned teeth, distorted palate, and tongue thrusting. The tongue does not have the ability to find the correct placement for proper enunciation, and the tongue muscle needs to be retrained. Tongue thrusting is the pushing forward motion of the tongue when swallowing, causing a continued pressure on the teeth even when not thumb sucking.Speech problems can include not being able to properly say S’s, T’s and D’s, lisping, and tongue thrusting when talking.

Children who are thumb suckers may need treatment for the following reason:

-They have not stopped thumb sucking on their own by age 4-5.

-Speech problems are becoming noticeable.

-If they are teased or feel embarrassed by their sucking.

Treatment

At home treatment by children can include:

-Gentle reminders from parents and loved ones. When you notice your child sucking their thumb, gently remind him or her to stop. You should always avoid criticizing or making fun of your child. This will only create stress.

-Positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in this area. Provide small rewards when they are not sucking their thumbs for extended periods of time. A reward could be as simple as an extra trip to the park or a slightly later bedtime.

-Competing response. Parents should give their child encouragement to do a different activity when they feel the urge to suck their thumbs. Could be something like squeezing a pillow.

Parents should also take away the child’s security blanket or stuffed animal during certain times of day. This will limit the amount of sucking. Another option is putting gloves on the hands or placing band aids over the thumb in question. This can help the child by reminding them they should not suck their thumbs.

If home treatment does not work and you are worried or feel frustrated about your child’s thumb sucking you should talk with your child’s dentist or doctor. There may be other treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, special nail polish for thumbnail, thumb devices, or devices for the mouth (habit appliances). A dental habit appliance is only a good idea for children who have not been able to stop thumb sucking on their own and have asked for help. It is usually something non removable, blocking the roof of the mouth to make thumb sucking impossible. It is worn for a few weeks to months and then removed by the dentist.

thumb sucking nail treatment

Thumb sucking nail treatment

Remember that thumb-sucking usually is not a problem until a child starts kindergarten or later. Most children will cease the activity on their own if you give them enough time. Slowly but surely, most children begin to stop thumb sucking on their own around ages 3-6 years old. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking consult your dentist.