Dr. Rebecca Hartfield, DMD
A Great Dentist

What if my denture is loose?


When you lose your all your teeth, your mouth is left with a U-shaped ridge of bone where the teeth used to be. This bone is fatter and larger when the teeth are first removed, but gradually shrinks over the years, and sometimes can become quite small. Dentures need to be relined periodically to adapt to the changes in the underlying bone. A reline is the process where more pink acrylic material is added to the underside of the denture to have it fit better against the bony ridge. Older dentures that are in good condition otherwise can often have their fit improved by doing a reline.

Loose dentures are unfortunately a frequent problem with lower denture wearers. Upper dentures can cover the roof of the mouth as well as the ridge of bone and get their retention from the additional suction that provides. Most people can function relatively well with a conventional upper denture.

Lower dentures cover the bony ridge, but do not have the same suction that upper dentures have because space needs to be provided for the tongue. Lower dentures are therefore typically looser than upper dentures. For many patients, denture adhesives (available at grocery stores and pharmacies) can help with this problem. For those people who cannot successfully wear a denture, two (or more) implants can be placed in the bone which will hold either metal snaps or a bar that an implant denture can then grab onto and this extra support will help the denture stay in place.

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