Many people who wear dentures are unaware of the problems that can develop when their dentures fit poorly. These can include things like ulcerations or fungal infections. Another one we call hyperplasia, where because the denture doesn’t fit the gum properly the gum then becomes irritated, grows to fill that space and then becomes infected.
The other problem to be aware of is that the bone shrinkage accelerates when the dentures aren’t fitting properly because the chewing forces aren’t being effectively transferred to the bone – this mean that the bone is gradually replaced by scar tissue.
Why Your Gums Shrink When You Have Dentures
This is most common when someone has had their teeth removed but has not been diligent about having their dentures relined and fitted properly; the supporting bone shrinks more quickly. The scar tissue that is left under the denture is also less stable and, despite a well-fitted denture, may still “wobble”; meaning, your dentures will move around due to the tissue below no longer being solid. This creates a recurring problem because, at that point, your dentures won’t sit properly or stay in place.
It’s important to know that shrinkage of the gum beneath your dentures is a natural thing that will happen with all dentures. That’s why a single set of dentures will eventually lose their fit, and is why dentures do not last forever.
For most patients, the age of your dentures will be a determining factor but, it is usually best to seek a denture relining every 3 – 5 years, and to replace your dentures every 10 years, or so. Of course, not every patient is the same and these averages can vary greatly, depending on usage and individual gum shrinkage rates.
The problem you have when teeth are removed from the upper and lower jaw, and dentures are used to replace them is, there is not nearly enough gum and bone at the bottom as opposed to the upper. This means that any shrinkage that takes place is more likely to affect the stability of the lower denture than the same amount of shrinkage would affect the upper set of dentures.
For this reason, it is quite common that upper dentures have a higher success and satisfaction rate than lower dentures.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.