Most dentures will need repairs or replacements after several years, so it’s important to get them serviced or replaced when they wear out. Unfortunately, this timeframe is different for every denture, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for signs of deterioration or damage.
Here are five signs to watch out for:
1. Sore or irritated gums
Sore gums are among the most telling signs of worn or damaged dentures, so have your dentures checked if you suddenly experience this.
Whether it’s caused by damage in your dentures or simply becoming deformed after years of use, a badly fitting denture can irritate and hurt your gums to the point of being unbearable.
If you’ve noticed sudden soreness or discomfort in your gums (especially on the parts where your dentures are), then there’s a good chance your dentures need to be replaced or adjusted.
2. Difficulty speaking / a change in your speaking pattern
It can take a while to adjust to a new pair of dentures, so experiencing some difficulty speaking can be normal in many cases.
However, any prolonged difficulty in speaking or sudden changes in your speaking patterns is often a sign of a bigger problem.
For new dentures, this could indicate that your dentures don’t fit properly and need to be adjusted. For older dentures, it could mean that your dentures have become so deformed that it’s affecting the way you talk.
If you notice that you’re speaking differently because of your dentures – no matter how new or old, it may be – then it’s best to have it checked by a denture professional as soon as possible.
3. Loose dentures / falling out more than usual
Dentures popping out or falling out every now and then can be normal, especially if they’re new and you’re still adjusting to them.
But if it happens regularly after months or years of having them on, then it’s a good sign they don’t fit well anymore and need to be replaced or refitted.
If your dentures are not implanted on your gums, and you notice them feeling loose or falling off regularly, then they may need to be replaced or adjusted accordingly.
4. Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
If you’ve had your dentures for a while, then you’ve already gotten used to eating with them.
So if you notice you’re suddenly struggling to chew or swallow food, then you need to make sure that your dentures aren’t causing the problem.
Even a slight change in the structure of your dentures can make you change your eating or drinking habits, so it’s always best to check your dentures if you experience this problem.
5. Stains or odours that won’t go away
Sometimes, old dentures that fit well will still need replacements because of discolouration or lingering odours. Several things can cause these stains and odours, including the build-up of plaque on the dentures themselves or even minor chips or cracks that harbour bacteria.
If you notice your dentures have persistent stains, visible discolouration, or nasty smells (even after repeated cleanings), then your dentures will likely need to be serviced or replaced altogether.