If you’re struggling with your dentures you are not alone. Many people can adapt and function well with dentures when they have enough bone remaining under the gums. However, after teeth are lost, the natural process in the body is to resorb, or dissolve, bone.
After teeth are extracted nature reacts like this. The tooth roots in the bone are no longer there and when they are gone, the body sees no reason to keep that dental bone there, and so, it resorbs it.
When enough bone is resorbed (this happens over time), this means struggles for the denture wearer. Usually, the longer you have been missing teeth, the less bone there is to support your dentures.
If you wear a maxillary, or upper denture, you probably have managed to function fairly well with your dentures because of suction. Upper dentures can have very good suction. It’s like taking two panes of glass and putting water between them- it’s difficult to separate the two pieces. If enough dental bone is lost the palate flattens, and the flatter the arch of the palate, the less suction there is. Even with suction, you can struggle and suffer embarrassmemt because if you cough or sneeze or even laugh too hard, the suction seal is broken and your dentures can fall down or out of your mouth. If you’re lucky, you can catch them with your tongue and push them back up, hopefully before anyone notices!
If you wear a mandibular, or lower denture, you are the exception if you function well with it. Think about it. When the teeth are missing there are only muscles surrounding the dental arch. The lips and cheeks are moving your denture on one side and the tongue is moving your denture on the other side. There is no stable surface with which you can chew and no advantage of suction- that’s not physically possible.
Let’s explore your options in the next blog.
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