If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, you might think caring for your dentures isn’t that big of a deal. What’s the point, right? It’s not like they’re real teeth. Regardless of whether or not you have any natural teeth left, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your dentures. In addition to regularly cleaning them, it’s essential that they have a proper fit. If you’re not adjusting or replacing old, damaged, or ill-fitting dentures, you could be putting your life in danger – here’s how.
The Link Between Ill-Fitting Dentures and Oral Cancer
Since the 1980s, researchers have been studying the connection between dentures and oral cancer. Although there isn’t a significant link between the two, the same cannot be said for ill-fitting dentures. In fact, recent meta-analyses have shown that poorly fitting dentures may increase a person’s risk for oral cancer by nearly four times.
Poorly fitted dentures trap carcinogens such as alcohol or tobacco against the gums, intensifying the impact of these substances on your oral health. If you don’t properly manage your restorations and combine that with smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol, you are increasing your risk of developing this life-threatening disease. As such, it’s best to abide by the best practices in denture care to preserve yours for as long as you can.
5 Other Problems Caused by Ill-Fitting Dentures
While ill-fitting dentures may not be the only cause of these problems, they most likely play a part. Here are 5 common problems other than oral cancer caused by ill-fitting dentures:
- Gum inflammation and irritation – The dentures may rub against the oral tissues, causing pain and inflammation. Left untreated, this can develop into painful wounds, blisters, and lesions in the mouth.
- Difficulty performing oral functions – Since they don’t fit the contour of the mouth, they can cause several problems in normal oral functions (e.g., chewing, biting, speaking, and smiling).
- Jaw pain and headaches – Ill-fitting dentures can contribute to an unstable bite, which can quickly develop into jaw pain. Left untreated, jaw pain can induce persistent headaches with little relief.
- Angular cheilitis (bacterial, yeast, and fungal infections) – With an uneven bite, saliva pools in the corners of the mouth, and you can get infections in those areas. This condition is extremely painful and debilitating.
- Atrophy of the jawbone – An ill-fitted denture suppresses the formation of new bone tissue by applying unnecessary pressure on the jawbone. Eventually, this leads to full atrophy and limited jaw mobility.
It can be incredibly dangerous to your oral and overall health to continue wearing ill-fitting dentures. Some patients might feel ashamed of how they’ve neglected proper denture care, but your dentist is here to help, not to judge! If you’re at all concerned about your oral health or the fit of your dentures, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
About the Practice
Here at Fort Dental, our three dentists are eager to help you along your smile journey. To do so, Dr. Cheng, Dr. Thorburn, and Dr. Luk offer a high-quality, comprehensive range of dental services. Our practice offers partial, full, and implant-supported dentures to restore your smile and quality of life. If you want to know more about how ill-fitting dentures can affect your health, contact us at our website or by phone at (817) 292-5957.