Dentures are a popular and inexpensive choice for tooth replacement. Unfortunately, they don't last forever. If you have had your dentures for a few years already, you might wonder when you should replace them or if you even need to replace them.
So, when should you replace your dentures?
It is recommended to have it replaced every 5 to 10 years. However, each person's situation is different.
Here are the most common signs you should watch out for:
- Loose, Wobbly, Or Falls Out Frequently
The first time you get your dentures, they should offer a snug fit to ensure you can chew and speak properly - however, your gums and jaw change throughout your whole life. Your jawbone starts to lose its volume after you lose your natural teeth, thus affecting the bone's shape, making your dentures feel loose. Another reason that your dentures may no longer fit correctly in your mouth is that the actual denture material has worn down
- Visible Damage
No matter how you take care of your dentures, they'll eventually chip, crack, or break as it goes through wear-and-tear from years of grinding and chewing. Accidents and improper care are also culprits for damaging your dentures. Other than causing your dentures not to be pleasing to look at, any cracks or dents can cause more injuries to your mouth. Check for any damage on your denture base or teeth every time you clean it. You can indeed have your dentures repaired, but it will come to a point where it's cheaper just to have them replaced.
- Unexplained Pain or Discomfort
Wearing your dentures all day long should be comfortable without feeling any pain or discomfort. However, as years go by, as mentioned above, your gums and jawbone change, so your dentures no longer fit the way it was before. Wearing dentures should not be a burden. If you feel something "off" with your dentures, have a dentist or prosthetist check on it.
- Gum Irritation Or Pressure Sores
Dentures make constant contact with your gums, so when dentures don't fit correctly, or if it's damaged, it can cause gum irritation or painful mouth sores. These sores will make eating or talking feel very uncomfortable. Look out for signs of redness or inflammation in your mouth or gums.
- Biting The Inside Of Mouth Or Cheek
Poorly-fitting or worn-out dentures may not always hold back your inner cheek tissue sufficiently when eating, causing you to regularly bite into part of your inner cheek.
Like natural teeth, dentures can experience discolouration over time due to exposure to some foods, drinks, and/or substances. Improper cleaning may also cause your dentures to change colour eventually. If it becomes stained and you longer want the way it looks, it may be best to replace them so that you can smile confidently again.
- Speech Problem
Most people go through a brief adjustment period to be able to speak clearly with dentures. Just like eating, talking relies on your teeth, so wearing your dentures for the first time may cause slurred speech, lisping, or excessive salivation. However, this should only last for a few weeks. If this never goes away or comes back after some time, this only means that your dentures need to be adjusted or replaced.
- Difficulty in Eating
One of the main reasons why someone will be getting a denture is to be able to eat properly. Just like with speaking, it may take a few weeks after wearing your dentures for the first time to restore your regular eating habits. But if it still makes chewing difficult even after weeks of wearing it, or if after years of wearing it, you find yourself not being able to chew well again, it may be time to have it replaced.
- Looking Older Than Your Age
After losing your natural teeth, your jaw bone starts to resorb, thus changing your facial structure. This can make your face sag or cause wrinkles around your mouth, making you look older than you really are. Having well-fitted dentures helps slow down the bone resorption process. If you think your denture makes you look older, you may want to consider replacing them.
- Don't Look Natural
People get dentures not only to be able to eat and speak well but also to be able to smile confidently. If your dentures are too small, too big, or don't compliment your face, it may be high time to replace them to achieve a natural-looking smile again.
Now that you have learned the signs to look for, have you realised that you need new dentures? We want you to eat, talk, and smile confidently and comfortably. If you're still in doubt, the easiest way to check is to have one of our dentists look them over. Contact us now or book an appointment here