Whilst full dentures give you the appearance and the functionality that you're after, they can also come with some problems. Perhaps the most common complaint about full dentures is shifting. Whether the denture shifting is quite minor or it's enough to actually be uncomfortable, you don't want to ignore it. As soon as your full mouth dentures start to shift, consider the following remedies.
Specialised Denture Adhesive
Full dentures are designed to work without any type of adhesive, as they create a natural suction with your gum tissue. However, there may be cases when the suction isn't quite enough. This can be especially true for the lower arch dentures because there's considerably less gum tissue to suction to in that area.
When you notice shifting, try a specialised denture adhesive, spreading an even layer across all of the adhesive surfaces. Allow the denture adhesive just a few seconds to grow sticky before you place the dentures in your mouth, as this will help create even better adhesion. Press the dentures firmly into place, and then bite down very lightly to help secure them. If the denture adhesive solves the problem of denture movement, you'll simply need to re-apply a thin layer each day before inserting your dentures.
Top Tip: Don't forget to use extra care whilst brushing your gums if you use denture adhesive. Even though you don't have natural teeth any longer, you're still susceptible to gum disease, so it's important to remove any residue clinging to your gums every day.
Relining or Rebasing
If denture adhesive doesn't solve the problem of shifting dentures, you'll need to see your dentist about possible denture adjustments. It's natural for the gum tissue to recede somewhat over time, and this can completely change the fit of your dentures—possibly making them unable to connect to your gums properly anymore. There are two main types of denture adjustments, relining and rebasing.
- Soft relining is the most common type of denture adjustment. Your dentist can do this in office whilst you wait. They'll apply a liquid polymer to the base of your dentures, which gives extra cushion and allows for better adhesion. You'll help guide the soft reline by telling the dentist what feels best and how well the adhesion works.
- Hard relining is a longer-term solution than a soft relining. Hard relines may last for years, whilst soft relines can last for anywhere from a few months to a year. In a hard reline, your dentist will add to the base of your dentures using the same acrylic resin material it's made from. This type of reline can potentially be done whilst you wait, but more often it's done in a dental laboratory.
- Rebasing is often recommended in situations where the dentures no longer fit well at all. Because your prosthetic teeth are usually still in fine condition, they'll be removed from the base and saved for insertion in the new base. This process includes the creation of moulds of your mouth, which the dental laboratory will then use to make completely new upper and lower bases for your dentures. Rebasing is essentially a denture replacement. Fortunately, denture wearers don't need rebasing often -- usually only after many years of denture wear.
As you can see, there are very viable solutions available if your dentures are shifting about or causing discomfort. Contact your dentist today to take the first step towards more comfortable dentures.