Why Do My Dentures Hurt?

why do dentures hurt - side profile senior woman holding jaw

Why Do My Dentures Hurt?

Dentures can give you more confidence in your smile, but it’s hard to be confident if you feel uncomfortable. Your dentures should fit you comfortably, so you can easily speak and chew. If your dentures are causing you pain, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Let’s explore the reasons why dentures might start to hurt over time, and what you can do to prevent denture pain. 

Three Reasons Why Your Dentures Might Hurt

1: Bacteria Buildup

Failing to keep your dentures clean allows bacteria to collect on top and underneath. Bacteria buildup on dentures can cause a yeast infection (oral thrush), that may result in painful sores on your gums. 

Bacteria from dirty dentures can also infect your gums, causing periodontal (gum) disease. And if you still have natural teeth remaining, bacteria from your dentures can lead to cavities and painful tooth decay. 

2: They Don’t Fit Right

Pain from wearing dentures is often a sign that they aren’t fitting properly. Loose dentures can slide around your mouth, causing uncomfortable friction, while dentures that are too tight can pinch and irritate your gums. 

If your facial structure changes over time, your dentures won’t fit properly anymore. For example, bone loss from osteoporosis or gum disease can affect your facial structure. And without tooth roots to stimulate bone growth, your jawbone also weakens over time, changing the shape of your face. 

Damaged dentures can also stop fitting properly. Dentures may break if you drop them, or become warped from hot water. Dentures don’t last forever, so normal wear and tear over time can also cause a poor fit. As long as you clean and store your dentures properly, they should last around 7 to 10 years. But if your dentures are that old or older, and they are causing you pain, it’s probably time to get a new set. 

3: Your Mouth Is Adjusting

If your brand-new dentures hurt, you may just need to give your mouth some time to adjust. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort for about a month after getting new dentures. But if your pain is severe, if it lasts longer than a month, or if the new dentures don’t fit correctly, then don’t hesitate to see your dentist. 

Denture Pain Treatment

If a yeast infection or periodontal disease is causing your pain, you will need to treat the underlying condition first. Medication is usually enough to treat a yeast infection, but gum disease treatment may involve scaling and root planing or surgery. 

If your dentures don’t fit properly, you can have them relined or refitted. But in some cases, you may need completely new dentures. 

Denture Pain Relief Tips

While you wait for your dental appointment, follow these tips to find relief:

  • Eat soft foods that are not sticky
  • Chew on the sides of your mouth for better stability
  • Remove your dentures overnight to allow your mouth to rest
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to prevent further irritation from bacteria
  • Use a denture pain relief gel

How to Prevent Denture Pain

Good Oral Hygiene

Taking good care of your dentures and your mouth will help reduce the risk of infections. Make sure to brush your dentures twice a day with a denture brush, and soak them overnight in a denture cleaning solution to keep them clean. 

Where your teeth are missing, gently brush your gums to remove bacteria and food debris. You also need to brush your natural teeth twice daily and floss once a day. Rinsing with mouthwash can also help eliminate bacteria, just make sure to use an alcohol-free rinse to prevent drying out your mouth and causing more discomfort. 

Preventing Damage to Dentures

When you clean your dentures, it helps to fill the sink or a bowl with water, and to place a soft folded towel at your feet as well as on the counter in case you drop them. You can prevent heat damage by soaking your dentures in room-temperature water and avoiding hot beverages. 

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups are crucial, even if you don’t have any teeth. Your dentist can spot early signs of issues with your dentures and fix them before they start to cause pain. It’s also important to have your existing teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. 

Dentures in Sun Lakes, Arizona

If your dentures are causing you pain, Dr. Saba and Associates can help. Drs. Saba and Romanin specialize in providing comfortable, custom-fitted full and partial dentures. If you have denture pain, we’ll identify the cause and discuss your best options for treatment and relief. Give us a call at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/28/2023). Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels