Millions of Americans wear dentures to replace missing teeth. While dentures are a wonderful, economical option to restore chewing function, they can lead to embarrassment and discomfort if they do not fit well. The most common complaint of denture wearers is looseness. When a denture is loose, the normal functions of eating and speaking become frustrating and difficult. Finding the right fit is critical to the comfort and function of your dentures.
A denture is capable of staying in place during chewing and speaking via two mechanisms: 1) a suction effect, and 2) muscle control. The suction occurs as a result of the design and fit of the denture. The muscle control requires adaptation over a long period of time.
A denture achieves the best suction effect on the upper denture because of the coverage of the roof of the mouth. The suction requires the denture to touch the gums over as much surface area as possible. Saliva is very important to the ability to achieve suction.
Imagine a small piece of glass laying atop another one. They are easy to separate. If you place a drop of water between then, they are much more difficult to separate due to a suction effect.
A good quantity and quality of saliva combined with a well-fitting denture leads to a great suction effect.
While it is possible to achieve a small suction effect on a lower denture, most people rely on muscle control to hold a lower denture in place. The presence of the tongue in the lower jaw means the lower denture fits only over the bony ridge in a U-shape. The lower arch lacks a large area like the roof of the mouth for good surface contact. The muscles of the tongue, lips and cheeks are much more likely to dislodge a lower denture.
For this reason, many people will adapt to holding the lower denture in place with those tongue, lip and cheek muscles. At first, this takes quite a bit of conscious effort. Over time, however, it becomes subconscious.
Do You Need Help with Your Dentures?
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a denture consultation with one of our dentists. We can help you choose the option that will best meet your denture needs.
Part 2 – Loose dentures can cause long-term oral health issues.