My brother is making so many excuses and is terrible about wearing his dentures. I don’t like to be seen with him because he looks silly. However, he doesn’t seem to care. The newest set of dentures he got was a few months ago. I’ve even sat at the dinner table with him and he has taken them out. It is becoming a serious problem. Do you have any tips on how I can encourage him to wear them more regularly?
-Denise in Utah
Change can be difficult for a lot of people. Here is what he may not be telling you about common denture problems:
- Hot spots – Many times a new appliance may be hitting high in certain areas making it very uncomfortable to wear. The dentist should have double-checked the fit to ensure there were no spots where it is rubbing him. It is possible he didn’t tell the dentist and figured it would get better or didn’t want to deal with it. If comfort is an issue, try to get your brother to schedule another appointment to get it checked out.
- Dentures are too loose – When someone is missing teeth or they have been removed, bone loss occurs. When this happens, it may make the denture feel like it doesn’t fit and is loose. Early on, the patient often experiences swelling and when it subsides, it may cause the denture to feel loose too. Again, some minor adjustments at the dentist and possible relining of the appliance may solve this problem.
- Fit issues – Dentures sometimes fit poorly and move around causing sores. Adjustments can be made to avoid pain and injury.
- Excess saliva – When your body senses an object it is not used to, more saliva is produced. It is a response that cannot be controlled and many times denture wearers complain that they have too much saliva. Regular use and wear will help reduce this problem.
- Talking is difficult – Talking with a new prosthesis also takes time to adjust. The more your brother wears it and practices talking with it, he will become more comfortable.
- Denture falls out – Sadly, over time most denture wearers have a fear that the denture may fall out. The tongue naturally wants to push it out, which can cause a loss of suction to keep it in place. Over time, bone loss also compounds this issue. Sometimes, changing the brand of denture will help solve this problem.
The best thing to do is be honest and try to find out what is really bothering him about the denture. Try to learn if he is in pain and explain how you ultimately just want what’s best for him.
If dentures just aren’t the right fit for him after all, try meeting with an implant dentist to discuss his options. Even a few dental implants will help with stability and give him his confidence back if he is a candidate for an implant overdenture.
Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.