Are you missing teeth? So are millions of other Americans. Fortunately, just because you’re missing teeth doesn’t mean that you need to go on without them. There are several tooth replacement options out there, with dentures being one of the most popular. They can be lifechanging for people who are missing most of or all of their teeth, but if they aren’t fitting correctly, they can cause some serious issues. Continue reading to learn how.
What’s the Connection Between Ill-Fitting Dentures and Oral Cancer?
Dentures have not shown to be harmful on their own. However, when dentures aren’t fitting properly, they can begin to trap harmful substances, like tobacco and alcohol. When these things are trapped between your dentures and gums, they can ultimately cause inflammation to occur. Chronic inflammation can lead to cell damage after a while. These cells are then repaired by your immune system, but if they grow too fast for your body, they can turn into cancer cells. The longer that you experience this type of inflammation, the more likely you are to develop oral cancer.
How to Tell That Dentures Are Ill-Fitting
Here are some of the most common signs that dentures aren’t fitting as well as they should:
- Pressure sores: These sores can develop in places when your gums apply additional pressure. Dentures are supposed to be distributing the pressure evenly across your gums, so if you are developing these sores, you likely need an adjustment.
- Difficulty chewing: It takes some time to adjust to chewing after you first get your dentures, but if you notice that it becomes difficult to chew later on, this might be a sign that you need your dentures to be refitted.
- Bad breath or taste: When food debris gets lodged between the denture and your gums, it can cause a bad taste in your mouth or a foul odor. This means that they need to be adjusted.
- Changes in speech: Ill-fitting dentures can move around when you speak and make it more difficult for you to say certain words. If you’re slurring, lisping, or salivating excessively while speaking, you may need to have them refitted.
- Discomfort: Dentures take time to get used to, but if they are particularly uncomfortable, causing jaw soreness, or you feel uneven pressure, you should let your dentist know.
Dentures are an excellent option for people who have struggled with tooth loss in the past, but they need to be fitting properly. By maintaining excellent oral hygiene and addressing any concerns with your dentist, you can significantly reduce your probability of developing life-threatening issues, like oral cancer, in the future.
About the Author
Dr. Ajaipal Sekhon earned his dental doctorate from the University of Western Ontario and has been working in the field for over a decade. He offers full and partial dentures for patients who are missing teeth. To learn more or to schedule a consultation at his office in Yuba City, visit his website or call (530) 822-9090.