How to Tell If You Need Denture Adhesive

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Denture adhesive can improve the fit of full or partial dentures, but it isn't always necessary. Well-fitting dentures usually do not need help staying in, but many people still use them for a sense of security.

If you feel you need this additional item, there are some questions you should discuss with your dental professional first: Do you need an adhesive to be confident about their fit? Why is the item loose to begin with? Is there another solution that would improve the comfort of your dentures? By visiting your dentist regularly for checkups as well, he or she can offer recommendations regarding how best to improve them along the way.

The Average Lifecycle

Dentures are considered a form of cosmetic dentistry, and can be made by a dentist or a prosthodontist. They are used to replace any number of missing teeth, need to be removed every night for cleaning and left out of the mouth while you sleep.

Dentures can become loose over time with changes in the bone and supporting gum tissue, which recedes once the natural tooth is removed. So, if your denture is fitted immediately after your teeth are removed, you may need to use a denture adhesive for a limited time. If your denture feels fine and is properly maintained, however, it may be unnecessary.

Types of Adhesive

Denture adhesive comes in various forms – including pastes, powders and pads – though the most widely used product is the former. With any product, always read the label for directions before use. If too much paste is used, for instance, denture adhesive can change your bite and produce jaw problems that cause premature wear on the dentures themselves. Pads are pre-cut shapes that will need to be trimmed to fit your denture comfortably, whereas the powders have the easiest cleanup each night when taking the material off, according to Aetna. They are simply mixed with water to activate.

Watching for Zinc

Most manufacturers have eliminated zinc from their adhesives when it was found to cause nerve damage in certain patients' hands and feet. So although it is important for the body, this mineral should not be over ingested. Keep in mind overuse can occur not just by using too much adhesive, but in combination with the zinc you might take in through a dietary supplement. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contacted the denture adhesive manufacturers with its own recommendation for removing this ingredient in their products. Most will be labeled zinc-free, but if you have any questions or concerns, your dentist or dental hygienist can guide you.

How to Use

Adhesive should be used sparingly and applied to well-cleaned dentures. A good routine to follow is to remove and properly wash your dentures every night before bed and place them in a water bath. In the morning:

  1. Rinse your denture.

  2. Apply the recommended amount of adhesive to the denture.

  3. Immediately place in your mouth.

Once the denture is in place, the adhesive should last most of the day. An upper denture is less likely to loosen from normal eating, but a lower denture can loosen more easily from drinking and eating. In this case, you may need to reapply adhesive during the day.

Dentures are a removable, lower-cost option for teeth replacement, but if they become loose, they can allow food debris and bacteria to accumulate underneath them. Fortunately, with these new options for a more fixed and supported teeth replacement, you may eliminate these drawbacks. If you are a denture wearer, and notice they no longer fit properly, visit your dentist. Although they may just need to be relined or replaced, some instances suggest an adhesive is the only recommendation to make you feel confident about your smile.

Keep your dentures in tiptop shape

Don’t skip out on oral hygiene; use one of our toothpastes to keep your dentures in good shape.