Fit and Function

I cannot wear my new dentures

I help hundreds of denture patients each year with dentures they cannot wear.  The most common issues are they are too thick, painful, too overextended, which makes you gag, the appearance while wearing is completely wrong, or they don’t allow you to chew correctly as the tooth settings are miles out.

This is most often due to several factors:-

  • Substandard dental laboratory work usually due to lower manufacturing costs, often using the cheapest materials.
  • Not enough time spent clinically or lack of clinician experience
  • A breakdown in vital instructions and communication between the clinician and dental laboratory that they send the impressions and fitting stages to.

My old dentures have become painful when I chew

Sometimes I can simply ease part of the denture to relieve the pain. I need to look in your mouth and do a pressure point mould underneath the denture to show me where to adjust it in a couple of minutes.

There can be several reasons for this, depending on how old the dentures are. Losing bodyweight or real teeth can have a great effect on the fit and stability of existing dentures.

If the teeth are worn out unevenly, making the denture tip when you bite or chew, this is more likely to be a case where your dentures need replacing.

I have never had dentures I’m happy with

This scenario is up there on the more complex side of treatment depending on the reasons you are not happy with them.

I would ask you to bring in all of your old dentures so I can assess them and work out what to do to solve your specific problems.

I cannot chew my food properly with my old dentures

This situation usually means you will need new dentures made as you have worn down the biting chewing surfaces of your teeth. This is sometimes caused by people who chew mint sweets all the time as they are very abrasive and wear out dentures much faster.

My denture makes me gag

If you have a new denture that you cannot wear due to its size, then it quite simply needs redesigning. Every patient’s tolerance level is different and some have a very sensitive gag reflex which is quite normal and fairly common. Dentures are often routinely made fully extended back in the palate without first checking how far extended they are before your gag reflex is triggered. I use what I call palate mapping to see how far extended the denture can be palatally tolerated before it is made. Dentures can easily be designed around this common problem.

Do I need to use denture glue adhesive?

I always try to design dentures to be glue-free in most cases, but it is not always possible. Some patients have to wear denture glue just because of how their mouth is. If you cannot wear your denture without glue, then there is a chance I could make one for you that will stay in without needing glue, but I would need to assess your mouth first.

I’m using too much denture glue adhesive several times a day

If this is the case, your denture is possibly an inferior fit or tipping when you bite and chew. If your denture rocks as you chew, then it is failing in the worst way. The adhesive will be squashed from side to side as you eat and won’t last long. I can usually quite easily solve this problem.

My denture teeth are noisy when I chew / not sliding properly

This a common problem I see every week. It causes partial dentures to press and tip, causing pain and looseness, with possible damage to remaining real teeth. Full dentures are unstable and often loose because of this. I can often simply adjust your denture to solve the problem. Balanced occlusion (chewing) means no tipping and rocking, solving pain issues and loose dentures. Usually, the denture teeth were not carved to chew properly when made in a dental laboratory and not checked by the person who fitted them.

My full complete lower denture lifts up all the time or just when I open my mouth

This is one of the most common scenarios I see several times a week with old dentures and often brand new ones. The cause is that your lower denture is in the way of where your lip above your chin pulls back into the space where the denture sits, making it lift when you open your mouth.

The severity varies from only lifting a couple of millimetres to visibly watching a patient’s lower lip bulge out when they push the denture down, only to instantly spring up when they let go.

Lower complete dentures are not comparable to upper full dentures as they fit differently. They sit resting on top of gums nestling between the tongue’s soft tissues, lips, and cheeks. When made well, they are moulded to be as extended as possible yet out of the way of all the moveable parts of the mouth that encroach into the space where the denture sits. I use a process often referred to as 3D mouth mapping or border moulding to make full lower dentures feel tighter. However, they are not actually “tighter”; they are as extended as possible but not in the way of any moveable parts of the mouth trying to displace them.

My tongue lifts my lower denture/ rubs against it making it sore

Just like the problem above, there is a good chance the denture has been positioned encroaching on your tongue space and needs changing.


My denture teeth look like false teeth

There are vast differences in the kinds of denture teeth available, from very plastic-looking lifeless teeth costing pence right up to the most amazing lifelike individually characterised teeth that reflect the light the same as real teeth, so you really cannot tell the difference.

My denture has wire clasps that look unsightly

We now have tooth-coloured or clear Flexi clasps.

I have dark staining between my denture teeth

If you have dry joins between the teeth and the pink of your denture, this can be a problem. I can tell by having a look and sometimes professionally clean them for you.