Issues with eating and speaking are some of the most common problems associated with dentures. However, these are only a few examples of denture-related problems. Other risks include things like:
Damage to Soft Oral Tissues
Dentures can make your mouth sore or inflamed. Such problems are usually caused by irritations due to ill-fitting dentures that bruise your soft oral tissues. Apart from the physical irritation, note that infections may strike the sore areas and complicate your oral problems further. You should suspect that your denture-caused oral sores are infected if they turn red or white.
Contact your dentist for readjustment if you notice such symptoms. Note that even properly-fitting dentures may become ill-fitting with time. This happens because your oral features, such as gums and jawbone, change as you age, which means periodic (usually annual) adjustments may be necessary.
Cheilitis and Stomatitis
As hinted above, dentures increase your risk of developing certain oral infections. The most serious of these infections are cheilitis and stomatitis. Cheilitis is an infection of the lips characterized by inflamed, dry, itching and red tissues. Stomatitis, which often strikes under the upper dentures (but can occur in any part of the mouth), is characterized by small red bumps. You are likely to develop these infections if you don't observe strict oral and denture hygiene.
Jaw Joint Problems
If your dentures don't fit well, then they may affect the way your upper and lower jaws meet. The effect may be transferred to your jaw joint, and you may notice it in the form of:
- Facial muscle pain
- Neck pain
- Jaw joint pain
- Persistent headaches
If you have been wearing dentures for a long time, then you may lose some of your jawbone mass in a process known as bone atrophy. This is one of the reasons dentures become loose with time. Jawbone atrophy is caused by a combination of factors including the aging process, loss of teeth and jawbone pressure due to the dentures.
Your dentist may advise you to get dental implants as soon as atrophy begins. Bone loss is not easy to reverse, so it's imperative to get the implants early enough. If you have already lost a lot of bone mass, you may need graft surgery before getting the implants.
Most denture-related problems are caused by ill-fitting dentures, poor oral hygiene, and poor denture hygiene. These are things you can prevent by following your dentist's advice to the letter. For more information, contact David Semrau, DDS or a similar dental professional.