The symptoms of denture pain are pretty straightforward.
The remote red areas on the skin below your denture or the formation of white yeast patches are enough to tell you there’s something wrong with your dentures. Some cases may even have gums appearing to spread over your denture, which can cause pain linked to raw red tissues in the mouth.
However, not all dentures are painful.
Dentures usually don’t cause discomfort or pain if you wear and maintain them properly. Nonetheless, if you’re suffering from denture pain, you can try a few things to provide relief and prevent it from coming back.
1. Practice proper denture cleaning and hygiene
We know looking after your dentures can be a chore, but it’s not as bad as most people think. Not only will it help your dentures last longer, but it will also prevent them from causing you pain. Practising proper denture care and good oral hygiene will go a long way in maintaining your dentures and avoiding denture discomforts.
- Aim to clean your dentures thoroughly with a dental cleanser every night. You should also clean the roof of your mouth and areas covered by your dentures to prevent denture pain caused by yeast, thrush or bacteria.
- Don’t forget to immerse your dentures in water at night before going to bed. This will loosen any particles on your dentures that you can brush away easily in the morning.
- Use a 100% authentic botanical toothpaste and mouthwash to eliminate harmful bacteria and create a healthy environment inside your mouth. If you need help finding the best dental cleanser and denture products, don’t hesitate to consult a reputable and certified dental prosthetist.
- Use your dentures properly and regularly. Irregular use (i.e. not using them in the daytime or forgetting to remove them at night) can irritate your mouth. If severe enough, this can even cause irritated gums and stimulate bone loss. Always use dentures properly, which means using them all day and taking them off and soaking them in water at night.
You should also avoid using broken, worn out and ill-fitting dentures. This could lead to injuries or, at the very least, allergies, which can cause excessive discomfort and pain in your mouth. If your dentures are damaged in any way (no matter how small), you should always have it repaired or relined.
2. Rule out allergies
Denture cleansers and adhesives can cause allergies, and some people are even allergic to the denture material itself.
When trying to identify the cause of denture pain, first make sure you’re not allergic to any of these materials. These allergies can lead to a burning sensation inside the mouth and gum irritation that can even lead to mouth ulcers. If you think you’re allergic to these materials, consult your dentist for viable alternatives.
Some people might also be allergic to the acrylic applied in the dentures. If you happen to be one of them, then your swelling might have already surfaced during your fitting procedure. This would mean acrylic dentures are not for you. The best thing to do here would be to use another variety of plastic material for your dentures. An experienced prosthetist can help you find the right solution.
3. Eat within your comfort zone
When you first start using dentures, stick to the same diet until you get used to the equipment in your mouth. This will make it easier for your mouth to adjust to your new dentures. Eating plenty of soft food like pudding, porridge or soup can also help you get used to chewing with dentures.
Try to maintain a moist mouth, as the lubricating saliva can reduce denture friction and help prevent gum irritation. If you can’t resist your morning coffee (a diuretic), make sure that you take plenty of non-diuretic fluids to promote healthy saliva flow. If you want to have salty snacks for veggie crisps, you should drink enough fluids to raise saliva production. Seedless grapes and berries are also denture-friendly munches.
You should stay clear of seeded bread and particularly refrain from biting hard food because these can destabilise your teeth. The extra force required to chew bigger chunks of solid food can also cause sore spots below your dentures.
4. Relax your gums
If your gums swell, keep the dentures aside and let your gums fully heal before using your dentures again. You should set aside your dentures for around 6 hours daily, either during your sleep or the daytime. You can also avoid getting gum sores by not wearing your dentures excessively and avoiding ill-fitted dentures.
Other ways to help your gums include:
- Avoiding tartar and plaque. These can affect your dentures and lead to gum infection, which would then require sophisticated gum therapy.
- Using hot compressions when you experience gum inflammation and pain. Remember it is natural for the gum to swell for the initial four weeks after tooth replacement, so you may need to do this when you first get your new dentures.
- Following a proper denture care regimen will help minimise gum soreness. Remove your dentures at night before sleeping to help your gums relax and allow your saliva to naturally cleanse your mouth.
5. Try herbal remedies
Herbs and herbal remedies have long been used for helping treat a variety of dental issues. Some of the most effective herbal remedies include:
- Aloe vera gel is one of the best remedies for overcoming denture pain. It has a soothing effect and can help heal your inflamed gums. Use it when necessary but avoid eating for an hour after applying aloe vera gel.
- Turmeric also has pain-alleviating properties. The compound curcumin present in it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities that are beneficial for reducing gum swelling.
- Black tea has plenty of tannic acid that can help soothe gum swelling and fight harmful
- Cloves are excellent aids for treating gum pain. Eugenol, which is the primary ingredient in clove, contains analgesic and anti-swelling properties. You can also mix olive oil with grounded cloves and apply it to your sore gums. After waiting for five minutes, wash your gums with lukewarm water.
- Salt is another ingredient that can help your dentures when in the adjustment phase. Aside from inhibiting bacteria, it can also help reduce mouth sores, gum swelling and pain.
Yes, dentures can be painful at times – but that’s usually only during the adjustment phase. Once your mouth gets used to it, dentures offer a lot more benefits than downsides.
The only rule of thumb is to stick to a proper denture care routine and good hygiene habits. Always consult your dental professional if your gums overgrow on your dentures or if the nagging pain in your gums persists.
If you need professional dental treatment for your denture pain, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us to get your dentures sorted.