New dentures take time to get used to, and chances are you’ll encounter some issues before they feel truly natural and comfortable in your mouth.
Fortunately, dealing with these issues is easy – you just need to know what to do.
Here are five of the most common problems to watch out for and what to do if you encounter them.
1. Soreness and discomfort
Soreness and discomfort are normal in the early stages of your adjustment period, especially in the first few hours (or even days) after getting your new dentures.
This is often caused by your new dentures rubbing into your gums, causing pain and irritation that can bother you. But as your gums and mouth get used to your new dentures, this initial soreness should gradually disappear. If the pain persists or intensifies, consult your denture professional as soon as possible to have it checked.
How to treat it: Try rinsing your mouth with a salt water solution to relieve the pain. You can also try massaging your gums or taking over-the-counter pain medication if necessary.
2. Difficulty speaking
New dentures often feel strange in the mouth at first, making it difficult for most people to speak normally as they’re getting used to them.
If you experience this problem, you’ll need to familiarise your tongue and mouth muscles with the sensations of speaking. This can take some time, so be patient and keep at it. As your mouth becomes more familiar with your new dentures, you’ll find yourself settling back into your normal way of speaking.
How to treat it: Practice. The best way to overcome difficulty speaking with new dentures is to speak regularly. You can also try singing your favourite songs to help your mouth become familiar with speaking normally again.
3. Difficulty eating
Many patients find it difficult to eat normally soon after getting new dentures because their mouths are still not used to it or because their gums are still healing after their procedures.
If you’re having trouble eating with your new dentures, stay patient and give your mouth time to adjust. You may find it painful to eat some types of food or experience your dentures constantly slipping out while eating. But as your mouth and gums adjust to your new dentures, you’ll find yourself eating normally.
How to treat it: Avoid hard and sticky food in the first few weeks of your new dentures. This will minimise pressure on your gums as you chew and eat. Work your way up to harder food as your mouth and gums adjust.
4. Slipping dentures
No matter how well-designed your new dentures are, your mouth and gums will need some time to conform to them. Unlike your teeth that are naturally anchored in your gums, most dentures (i.e. removable dentures) are kept in place by various muscles in your mouth. That’s why they often slip or dislodge easily while eating or talking in the first few weeks.
During your adjustment period, your mouth, tongue and gums are still learning how to coordinate and keep them in place. Give them time to adjust properly and be patient when repositioning them every time they slip out.
How to treat it: This problem often disappears by itself as you get used to your new dentures. But if your dentures still slip out constantly after several weeks, consider using denture adhesives or consulting your denture professional to have them adjusted.
5. Excess saliva
New dentures can sometimes confuse your body, making it think that your dentures are food or a foreign object. This can make your saliva glands work harder, producing more saliva than usual.
The good news is that as your mouth adjusts to your new dentures, your saliva glands will eventually work normally again and produce saliva at normal levels.
How to treat it: There’s not much you can do about this – just be prepared to deal with more saliva than usual by swallowing more frequently. Your mouth and saliva glands will eventually adjust to your new dentures and this issue will disappear on its own.