Common Partial Dentures Problems And How To Fix Them

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People with missing teeth have many options for replacing them, including dentures. Full dentures may be a good choice for people who are missing all of their teeth, while partial dentures may be recommended for people who are missing only some of their teeth. A partial denture typically has a metal framework to hold the appliance in place, explains the American College of Prosthodontists. While partial dentures restore the look and feel of your smile, they may also give rise to certain problems.

Damage to the Dentures

Partial dentures need to be cleaned every day to remove plaque and food particles. That cleaning must be done carefully, because dentures are fragile. If you drop your dentures or handle them too roughly, the metal framework could become bent. The dentures' replacement teeth could also become chipped, cracked or broken.

If your dentures get damaged, don't try to fix them by yourself. The American Dental Association (ADA) warns that DIY denture repair can cause further damage and even ruin the dentures. At-home repairs can also be hazardous to your health. Over-the-counter glues may contain dangerous chemicals that shouldn't be used on dentures, the ADA cautions. If your dentures become damaged, visit your dentist right away.

Metal Allergies

People with allergies to nickel or other metals may have reactions to the metal framework that holds their partial dentures in place. An article published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry explains that nickel allergies may cause a burning sensation in the mouth. Other symptoms include swollen gums and numbness.

See your dentist if you're concerned about metal allergies. Metal-free partial dentures, which are made of thermoplastic resin, may be a more suitable option. These dentures are secured with resin clasps rather than a metal framework.

Denture Slippage

Denture slippage is a common denture problem. New dentures take time to get used to, and when you first get dentures, you may notice them slipping out of place when you talk or eat. If the dentures continue slipping, there may be a fit issue that needs to be adjusted by your dentist. For example, the metal framework or resin clasps may not fit snugly enough to hold the dentures in place.

Denture slippage may happen to people who've had their dentures for a while. Over time, the remaining teeth can shift position or the gum tissue may recede. Dentures that once fit perfectly may start to feel loose and uncomfortable. If this happens, see your dentist. The dentures can be adjusted or re-made if necessary. In some cases, a denture adhesive may help.

Oral Hygiene Challenges

Food particles and plaque can build up on the surface of the dentures and on the metal framework that holds them in place. Oral hygiene is also a concern for people with metal-free partial dentures. An article published in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research warns that, since the resin clasp of these dentures covers part of the adjacent teeth and gum tissue, cavities and gum problems may be exacerbated.

For good oral health, remember to clean your dentures every day. The ADA recommends thoroughly cleaning partial dentures with a denture brush and denture cleaner. It's very important to continue brushing your remaining natural teeth twice daily and flossing every day. If you're having difficulty cleaning your dentures, ask your dentist for advice.

Partial removable dentures are one of the ways that dentists can replace missing teeth. While these dentures have many advantages, partial dentures problems can sometimes occur. If you have any concerns about your dentures, see your dentist or prosthodontist right away.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Oral Care Tips for DENTURES


  • Don't let dentures dry out – place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when you're not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause dentures to warp.
  • Brush your dentures – brushing dentures daily will remove food and dental plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained.
  • Take care of your mouth – brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
  • Consult your dentist – see your dentist if dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don't be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair.

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.