Adjusting to Dentures

In all likelihood, a person will have a harder time than he or she expected when adjusting to dentures.

Adjusting to dentures is often overwhelming to many people.  The human mouth is evolved to detect even the smallest of foreign objects.  Anything as large as a denture will be a significant shock during the first days after placement.  Unless a patient suffers from dry mouth, he will have more saliva during the first few weeks.  It may also take a couple of weeks for the patient to feel like the new dentures have really become a part of their mouth.

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It takes longer for people to adjust to lower dentures than it does for them to adjust to upper dentures.  In most instances, lower dentures cause more problems than upper dentures. Lower dentures commonly feel lose, so a denture adhesive may be necessary in order to hold it in place.  People who buy denture adhesives should ask their dentist which one is best for them before doing so.


A person may also feel like gagging because an upper denture creates a feeling of fullness in the mouth.  This decreases as the mouth gets used to it.  


Sore spots often form even when a denture is a perfect fit.

This is because the tissue that the denture rests upon varies from place to place. Many parts of the mouth are thick and tough; while others are thin and easily injured.  A dentist should be consulted anytime a sore develops so an adjustment can be made.  Ignoring the problem will lead to a larger sore that is more difficult to treat. Patients can buy ointments to numb the area until they can get to the dentist, but these can mask the problem area and lead to larger sores if used too long.  


A denture wearer should never attempt to adjust the denture themselves.


Dry mouth

For people who suffer from dry mouth, adjusting to dentures is going to be very difficult because they have less saliva to help hold your dentures in place.  Individuals with dry mouth should ask their dentist about products that are made for this condition that you can use to make your denture more comfortable. 


Eating during the first week

It is necessary to maintain good nutrition while adjusting to dentures. It is recommended as well that one drink plenty of fluids. During the first 24-36 hours, dentists advise patients to eat only food that does not require chewing.  


The following food groups can serve as guidelines:


Bread/cereal group:  thin oatmeal or Cream of Wheat

Vegetable group:  juices, thin soups

Fruit group: juices, blended drinks and shakes

Milk group:  Milk, cheese soup, yogurt, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure

                     Sustacal (these last two products are nutritionally complete,

                     lactose free drinks)

Meat group:  Pasteurized eggnogs, meat broths or soups, pureed meats


After the first or second day, the patient can slowly increase the consistency of the food. In addition to the foods listed, soft foods like small pastas, well-cooked carrots and green beans, mashed potatoes, creamed vegetables, soups, well-cooked fruits (no seeds), canned fruits, scrambled or soft-boiled eggs, and chopped meats can be eaten.


It is recommended that patients cut their food into small pieces and eat it slowly.  Eating with dentures is very different from eating with natural teeth.  It is better to put food on both sides of your back teeth and chew straight up and down.  It is also better to bite food off at the corners of the mouth rather than the very front because is common with natural teeth.


Nevertheless, it is hard to predict exactly what biting and chewing movements will work best for any individual because they vary widely from person to person.  The patient should experiment until finding what works best for him or her.


Some people have problems speaking while you are first adjusting to dentures. 

To overcome this, reading out loud in private will retrain the mouth.  Over time, speech will return to normal.

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Houston Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services that includes:

Summarized From:

Patient Instructions for Immediate Dentures

Randy F. Huffines, D.D.S. 2008

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