Dental adjustments and relining prevent the disturbing of “peace of mind” and “the embarrassment” if the denture were to accidentally slips out of place while talking or chewing. Teeth provide us with three different benefits. They help us in delivering nutrients and energy for bodily functions by biting, chewing and crushing the food into smaller particles for easy swallowing and digestion. Teeth help us in the speech by contributing to articulation and producing different sounds. And lastly, they give us a friendly and attractive look by being a big part of our smile.
Yet, increasing age, certain disease conditions, and trauma may affect the teeth with a lot of wear and tear. This results in damage and cavities to the teeth, which eventually lead up to the loss of function and loss of the tooth. But never fear. Just the way humans have found answers to the greatest challenges in life, the dilemma of tooth loss has also been conquered to a great length.
Dentures or false teeth, replace the teeth in a most formidable way. They perform all the functions of the original teeth; they help in the mastication process, and thus in our nutrition, they augment our speech, and complement our smiles.
A denture can be either partial or full, depending upon the number of teeth it covers for. A denture has a gum-coloured plastic base that forms the gum portion and a tooth portion, which has porcelain or plastic teeth to put in place of the lost ones.
Furthermore, dentures are made in both permanent and temporary forms. The permanent dentures are surgically fixed by dental implants in the jawbone. The temporary ones are more common, which are the removable type and taken off at night. The gum portion of the denture should fit perfectly onto the gums to deliver its purposes.
Ill-Fitting Denture and Why Get It Fixed
With average wear and tear, a denture lasts for about 5 years. However, with the growth and repairs going on in our body all the time, it may happen that once a perfectly fitting denture may not fit at the same spot after a while. An ill-fitting denture can be a cause of nuisance and discomfort and, in turn, it damages the denture and reduces its life. Inadequate cleaning and improper care also damage dentures.
As discussed, the fine-tuning of the dental structure changes the shape of jawbone and gums over them over time. If the receptacle has been altered, the denture will not fit perfectly and tightly over it. Instead, it may slip from its position while chewing, swallowing or speaking or it may cause pain and pressure to the gums and cheeks. Whatever the case may be, the dentures are thus indicating the need for repair and maintenance.
Dental Adjustments and Relining
Sometimes a little adjustment and relining are all that is needed when the denture fitting becomes uncomfortable. These practices change the size, shape and fitting of the dentures to make them more comfortable and suitable to the wearer. Some specific reasons to get the dentures fixed include:
- Loose dentures
- Sore or irritated mouth
- Pinching or rubbing with gums
- Changes in the facial structure
- Difficulty in chewing
- Dentures falling out while laughing, eating or just smiling
- Broken denture teeth
- Broken or cracked denture base
- Headache, neck ache or jaw ache with dentures
- Oral ulcers, fungal infections, and tissue overgrowth
Relining is the denture maintenance procedure done when the gum portion of denture does not properly fit the gums and jaw bone. There are a few reasons that lead to the need for relining. After tooth loss or extraction, the jawbone in that missing tooth area shrinks in size, a process called bone resorption. It takes 2-3 years for the bone to settle down in the area, and space gradually reduces up to 40-50 per cent in size. This changes the jaw shape and the gums over it, making it difficult for the denture to fit.
Moreover, sleeping with dentures, clenching and grinding of jaws, weight gain or loss also affect the gum shape. Any broken tooth or cracked plastic bases are also fixed. The dentist can make minor changes in the clinic, while big changes take time and resources like dental impressions.
As the name suggests, denture adjustments deal with the dentist adjusting the denture to make it comfortable and fitting. The changing gum and mouth contour we discussed earlier, may lead to painful and ill-fitted dentures, pain in chewing, discomfort or unusual pressure to gums, gum irritation, gum sores, or even worsening oral sores due to pressure. In addition to these, the denture itself may need repair if any of the artificial teeth break, or there are cracks in the teeth or gum portion.
Caring for Dentures
- Handle the dentures with care and avoid dropping them
- Never sleep with the dentures on
- Brush them regularly like normal teeth, but with a soft brush and denture cleaning solutions; toothpaste damages the artificial teeth
- Keep them moist when not wearing by placing them in a glass of water or a soaking solution
- Do-it-yourself kits and trying to fix it on your own may irreversibly damage the dentures
- The gums and remaining teeth in the mouth require hygiene upkeep with regular brushing and mouthwashes
- Eat a balanced diet, and maintain good health.
Dentures are artificial sets of teeth that benefit us when we lose our teeth. They should be comfortable and fitting enough to serve their functions properly. A change in the gum and mouth shape is part of the growth and repair process of the body. If the dentures become a reason for discomfort or pain after a settlement period, they may need relining or adjustment. Practising the use of dentures with patience and proper care can lead to a better outcome of the product.