Full Mouth Dentures are often used by the more senior members of our society. They become necessary because of oral health negligence, accident, or just the natural aging process.

The fitting of dentures helps the elderly person in food chewing, and also enhances the appearance of an otherwise toothless person.

However, apart from the initial adjustment to having dentures in the mouth, and the ensuing discomfort, the wearing of dentures can cause problems for their wearer.

Some Problems Associated with Dentures.

n  Following a period of being toothless, when the dentures are first worn, the persons brain will sense their presence in the mouth as being ‘food’, and will send messages for saliva production, so producing an over production of saliva, and causing the person to ‘dribble’ continually.

n  Inevitably the new dentures will lead to rubbing of the gums, leading to much mouth soreness initially.

n  Gagging is another problem. This may be caused by the mouth set being loose or not sufficiently extended on the soft palate of the mouth. It may also be purely a psychological effect, like a denial by the wearer that he/she has dentures fitted.

The main problems encountered by the elderly are however, simply keeping them in place properly all of the time. The three factors which dictate correct and stable positioning of the dentures are – - Support, Stability and Retention.

Retention. This is the property of how well the denture is prevented from moving in the vertical plane in relation to its direction of insertion.

n  The better the fit between the inside base of the denture, the better the retention to the gum.

n  The seal between the denture base and the gum must be complete and suction tension will retain the denture firmly adhered to the gum.

n  Surface tension between the inner side of the denture and the gum surface will cause a suction also,  which, along a good base seal will retain the denture in the correct position.

Stability is the property whereby the denture is prevented from moving horizontally and so stopped from sliding from side to side or from front to back.

n  The closer the contact between the denture base and the ridges of the gum upon which the base rests, the greater the stability.

n    For the elderly who have natural higher and wider gum ridges, the less problem they will suffer with denture stability and the dentures will be held firmly in position.

Support. is the prevention of allowing the dentures to move in a vertical plane in relation to the mouth arches.

n  For the lower denture set this is provided by the gums and the area between the gum and lower lip.

n  For the upper set then the palate, which forms part of the dentures, provides the necessary support to prevent vertical movement

n  After many years of wear the gum ridges on which the dentures rest can deteriorate, and that is the main reason why teeth implants are being increasingly recommended.

As the elderly person learns to cope with the new dentures, he/she will realize that the sealing between gum and denture is not perfect, especially when eating, when some slight movement of the dentures on the gum ridges will occur. This will soon be adjusted to, and the wearer will feel quite comfortable with his new set of dentures.

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