In order for partial and whole mouth dentures to fit and stay put, they need a healthy base of gums and muscles. As part of oral hygiene, while your dentures are out of your mouth, you should gently brush and massage your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth to remove bacteria and build up. Stimulating the gums keeps blood flowing and tissues thriving. Brushing and flossing any remaining natural teeth is a part of daily care that's also worth mentioning again here.
Regular dental office checkups are advisable every six months or as directed by a dentist or periodontist. But it's also important to be aware of any changes in how your dentures fit and consult with an expert sooner rather than later if they become too big or small. Although it is common for bones in the jaw to get smaller over time and for some gum tissues to shrink, a poor fit also may indicate gingivitis or other problems that can lead to gum disease or infection [source: Mayo Clinic]. Poor diet can affect the health of bones and muscles -- even in the mouth -- so even eating a healthy diet will go a long way toward supporting denture fit.
Being ready for changes with age or over the lifetime of your dentures can keep you better prepared for the inevitable adjustments and replacements. Even with excellent care and hygiene, many dentures need to be replaced in about five years due to wear and tear, and general changes in the mouth, gums and supporting teeth [source: ACP]. Dentists, hygienists and periodontists can recommend care plans and cleaning techniques tailored to each patient, and they will provide recommendations for the best tools and products.
While having to wear dentures may be beyond our control due to aging or what life throws our way, keeping our mouths healthy to support our smiles is totally up to us.
More information on dentures and a healthy smile follow below.
More Great Links
- Alderman, Lesley. "For Most, Implants Beat Dentures, But At a Price." NewYorkTimes.com. July 30, 2010. (Oct. 14, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/health/31patient.html
- American College of Prosthodontists (ACP). "Dentures: How to Properly Apply Denture Adhesive." Prosthodontics.org. 2010. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.prosthodontics.org/patients/Dentures.asp
- American Dental Association (ADA). "Bridges." ADA.org. 2011. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.ada.org/2954.aspx?currentTab=1
- American Dental Association (ADA). "Dentures." ADA.org. 2011. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.ada.org/2996.aspx
- American Dental Association (ADA). "Partial Dentures, Removable." ADA.org. 2011. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.ada.org/2722.aspx?currentTab=1
- Bodiesâ€¦The Exhibition. "Edentulous: A Brief History of Dentures." BodiesTheExhibition.com. Jan. 18, 2011. (Oct. 13, 2011) http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/news/38-edentulous-a-brief-history-of-dentures.html
- Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CUCDM). "Denture Adhesives: Do They Work? Do You Need Them?" SimpleStepsDental.com. Jan. 12, 2009. (Oct. 13, 2011) http://www.simplestepsdental.com/SS/ihtSSPrint/r.WSIHW000/st.31862/t.32532/pr.3/c.308584.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Denture Care: How Do I Clean Dentures?" MayoClinic.com. Dec. 1, 2009. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/denture-care/AN02028/METHOD=print
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Dentures." NIH.org. 2011. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dentures.html
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Denture Problems." NIH.org. 2011. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002037.htm
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Advice for Patients: Denture Cleansers." FDA.gov. June 24, 2009. (Oct. 10, 2011) http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PatientAlerts/ucm064668.htm
- Williamson, R.T. "Clinical Application of a Soft Denture Liner: A Case Report." NIH.gov. June 1995. (Oct. 14, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8602422