If you wear dentures, then you probably remember the great lengths your dentist took to precisely measure the dimensions of your mouth so that your appliances would fit properly. From the dental X-rays to the impressions that were taken of your mouth, your dental professional wanted to make sure that your dentures fit comfortably and that they didn't slip, shift, or hurt while you were wearing them. Despite your dentist's best efforts, dentures can eventually become either too big or too small for your mouth. Here are three reasons why your dentures might not fit anymore and what you can do about it:
Declining Estrogen Levels
When your estrogen levels decline, as they do during your menopausal years, you may be at risk for developing osteoporosis. This degenerative disease can lead to the deterioration of your bones, causing brittleness and a heightened risk for fractures.
Estrogen helps your bones stay strong, and when circulating estrogen stores get low, not only might osteoporosis develop in your spine, but also in your jaw bones. If this occurs, your dentures be too loose as a result of bone loss in your jaw. While oral osteoporosis medications typically cannot reverse existing bone damage caused by degenerative bone disease, they may help slow the progression of future disease.
Weight gain or weight loss can also lead to ill-fitting dentures. If you gain weight, your dentures may feel too snug, and weight loss may cause them to slip out of position. When your dentures do not fit properly, you may develop friction sores or blisters in your mouth, which, if not recognized and treated, may cause an oral infection.
Friction sores can also destroy the gum tissue, and cause significant pain in your mouth whenever you attempt to wear your dentures. If you gain or lose weight, tell your dentist. You may need to have the size of your dentures altered, and in some cases, your dentist may need to take new measurements and impressions of your mouth so that a new set of dentures can be made.
If you develop gum disease, or gingivitis, it is important that you visit your dental professional for treatment. While conservative methods of treatment such as meticulously brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis can help reverse mild gingivitis, it may not eliminate moderate to severe gum disease.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress, you may be at risk for developing a severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This condition can lead to bone destruction in your mouth, and if this happens, your dentures may no longer fit. If your dentist determines that you have periodontitis, you might be referred to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease.
If you notice that your dentures are too tight or if they slip out of place when you eat or speak, see your dentist. While most causes of poorly fitting dentures are obvious, your dentist will need to examine your mouth for signs of pathological causes such as abnormal growths, infections, or even soft tissue damage. Contact a clinic like Bristol Dental Group for more information.