My denture has been hurting for three months. I only wear it when I must leave home and know that I will have a conversation with someone. Otherwise, I don’t bother wearing it. My dentist “adjusted” the denture four times since January, but it still hurts.
My dentist has not explained the problem or to my knowledge, tried to find the cause of my pain. She just keeps adjusting it. I am afraid that the denture will eventually break. Why would a denture hurt consistently? Do I need to find another dentist to correct it? Thank you. Kurt from Biloxi
Thank you for your question. Dr. Finley or Dr. Henderson would need to examine your denture, gums, and bone to determine the cause of your pain. Also, you did not mention how long you have had the denture, which can affect how it feels. Still, we will explain reasons that a denture may hurt.
Why Does Your Denture Hurt?
The reason your denture hurts depends on how long you have had the denture, how it fits, and your oral health.
- How long you have had the denture – A new denture may be uncomfortable and irritating until you adjust to wearing it.
- The denture may not fit well – A poor-fitting denture can rub, cut, or make sores on your gums.
- Too tight – Pinch your gums and cause recession or bone shrinkage
- Too loose – Slide around and rub on your gums
- Imbalanced – Uneven pressure on your gums
- Bone shrinkage – Occurs after losing all your teeth; your denture may be resting on bone
- Sharp bone – Sharp bone beneath your gums can hurt but feel like your denture is at fault
- Food particles stuck – Bacteria-breeding food particles can get stuck between your gums and denture if you do not remove your denture to clean it or clean it properly.
- Gum disease – Even if you have lost all your teeth, you may get gum disease. Bacteria breeding between your gums and denture base can cause gum irritation, infection, and disease.
How Can You Get Relief from Dentures that Hurt?
You can get relief from dentures that hurt by asking your dentist to check your denture fit and practicing good oral hygiene at home.
Adjusting your denture fit
Your dentist will examine your denture, gum tissue, and bone to determine the cause of your pain and how to resolve it. Possible treatment options include:
- Denture relining
- Denture replacement
- Implant-supported dentures
Keeping your mouth and denture clean
Keeping your mouth and denture clean can minimize discomfort. Follow these tips:
- Remove your denture at night
- Soak the denture in a denture-cleaning solution overnight
- Rinse the denture before wearing it
- Gently brush your tongue, inner cheeks, roof of mouth, and gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Remove and rinse your denture after meals
- Schedule regular dental exams to ensure your gums are healthy and your denture is in good condition.
If your dentist adjusted your denture four times, but it continues to hurt, consider scheduling an exam with an advanced cosmetic dentist. A dentist with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training can identify the cause of your discomfort and recommend ways to resolve it. If you need a new denture, a cosmetic dentist follows a detailed process to ensure it fits well and looks natural.
David Finley, DDS, a Metairie, Louisiana accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post.