8 Common Denture Problems

Dentures Feel Loose

How stable the denture is depends upon the condition of the ridges.  Over time, the ridges in a denture wearer’s mouth change. These changes result in dentures that no longer fit as well as they once did. The fit of your dentures will change because the bone in your jaw continually shrinks. If you wear your dentures while sleeping, clench or grind your teeth, then you may lose bone even faster. Weight loss or gain will also change the contours of your gums.

Denture Slipping and Moving when you Talk or Laugh

This is usually created by a change in the shape of your bone and gums or an uneven bite or a combination of both. As you age your jawbone and gums can change shape. Think of your dentures as glasses. Your eyes change with time but your glasses don’t and before you know it you no longer see with glasses like you used to.

Sore Spots

This also can be due to a change in the shape of your bone and tissues causing the denture to slip and rub. A loose denture will allow hard things (like seeds) to get under the denture and cause a sore.

People who clench and grind their teeth are also likely to have sore spots.

Difficulty Chewing

A denture that doesn’t fit or teeth that don’t function effectively can make it difficult to chew food properly. As a result, many nutritious and harder-to-chew foods may be eliminated from the diet. In these cases, digestion and overall good health are affected.

You may have worn off the chewing edges of your teeth or the upper and lower teeth are not in the correct alignment to cut and grind your food. This affects the “balance” of the denture on the gums.

Pain in Jaw Joint, Headaches, Neck Pain

Improper support and function can upset the jaw mechanism if the teeth are not being properly aligned with the chewing muscles This can, in extreme cases, lead to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.  TMJ can be characterized by pain in the jaw, neck, head, and/or shoulders.

Speaking Difficulties and Unwanted Sounds

The ability to speak depends on subtle interactions involving your tongue, teeth, lips, cheeks and the roof of your mouth. If you have speech problems it is quite likely that the denture is not in the proper position for the cheek and tongue to form words. Or the denture moves so much that the cheek and tongue have to struggle to form words and try control the denture at the same time.

Whistling and abnormal “s” and “ f “ sounds are produced when there is an abnormal interincisal space: the upper and lower anterior teeth are not in their proper positions and/or are constricting the tongue during normal function.

Lack of Suction/Adhesion

Your saliva provides a “seal” between the denture and the tissue. Dry mouth is most often caused by certain medications, especially medications used to treat high blood pressure. Heart disease medications can cause edema or fluid retention that will cause a swelling of the body’s tissues, making the fit of a denture to fluctuate noticeably.

Lip Wrinkles and other Changes in Facial Features

Denture teeth can wear excessively. As teeth and bone flatten, the nose gets closer to the chin and your lips collapse. This “shortening” of the teeth leads to a shortening of the face. That will increase the wrinkles around your mouth, cheeks and chin. Often we find that the denture sits too far back and does not support the lips and cheeks. This causes wrinkles and makes you look older. New dentures can lengthen and straighten your face, making you look and feel younger.

Soreness at the Corners of Mouth

The mouth is “over-closed”. The chin is too close to the nose and changes the way the lips seal together and causes saliva to pool at the corners of the mouth. This excess moisture causes the skin to become irritated and can lead to a fungus infection at the corners of the mouth. It can sometimes be the result of a vitamin deficiency. Ask us about a prescription to help this problem.


The back of the denture needs to be shortened or reshaped. Unfortunately, the more you cut it back the less suction you will have and also may allow food to get under the denture. Having implants is the only way to allow the entire palatal plastic to be removed.

Mouth Odors

Food particles can get stuck in old or dirty dentures. This breeds bacteria, which can lead to bad breath.

Emotional and Psychological Distress

Improper fit or unnatural-looking dentures can make it difficult and embarrassing to speak, eat and socialize.

Food Tastes Different

Dentures are Worn or Broken

Dr. Mark Williams

201 Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs

Providing great fitting dentures since 1968.