10 minutes to read
How Does Denture Adhesive Work?
It may seem like magic – getting your dentures to stay perfectly in place – but we guarantee it’s all thanks to science. (Remember: magicians wear robes, scientists wear lab coats). If the little scientist in you or your curious inner child has ever wondered how denture adhesive works, you have come to the right place. From how they work to the not-so-magic ingredients, read on to learn everything you want to know about what makes denture adhesive do the job well so you can enjoy life with confidence.
In this article:
What Is Denture Adhesive?
Denture adhesive is a paste, powder or strip made from a non-toxic, water-soluble material that goes between the denture and the gum-line. Adhesive helps enhance the natural forces that hold your dentures in place and helps stop any movement between the denture and the gum, so you can eat, talk, smile, and live with more confidence!
Types of Denture Adhesives
You can get denture adhesive in different forms, like:
Denture adhesive cream. Denture adhesive cream is the most common kind of adhesive you’ll come across.
Denture adhesive powder. This type of adhesive comes in a powder form and works by soaking up water to attach denture to your gum just like a cream does.
Denture adhesive strips. Strips work by applying them directly on your dentures before you put them in your mouth, but these can be expensive.
You can also get adhesive for partial dentures [link to do you need an adhesive cream for partial dentures article].
How Does Denture Adhesive Work?
Denture adhesives work by “gluing” the denture to the tissue through the saliva. Your mouth’s natural moisture transforms the adhesive into an elastic-like membrane that sticks to both the gum and the denture. Hence, denture adhesive holds your dentures tight and improves the natural retention you have from a well-fitting denture. The saliva between the denture and the gum tissue also resists being pulled apart, and the adhesive helps strengthen that force.
But what does all this mean for you and your denture? To summarize, denture adhesive works to:
Stop movement. Adhesive fixes the dentures and gum with a strong hold. So you won’t feel any annoying movement.
Keeps food particles out. The strong seal prevents food particles from getting in between the denture and your gums, so you won’t feel any irritation or pain.
Benefits of Using Denture Adhesive
There are quite a few benefits you can reap with a good denture adhesive, like:
More secure fit. Denture adhesive helps the denture stay in place.
Fresher breath. Denture adhesive fights bad breath with its antibacterial ingredients.
More confidence to talk, smile and eat. Since your denture is secure, you won’t have to worry about any embarrassing moments.
More comfortable when eating. Your gums will feel less discomfort since the adhesive locks out any food particles from getting between the gum and the denture.
When Do You Need Denture Adhesive?
Dentures are used by people who have had all or some of their teeth removed. Although the suction force on the denture should be enough to keep it in place, you can add denture adhesive if you want to bite into crunchy, sticky, or tough-to-chew food. Another time to use denture adhesive is if your gums are sensitive and you want to avoid getting denture sores. Denture adhesive can also help give you more confidence since you know your dentures are held firmly in place. You want that extra boost of confidence and security when you go to a family dinner or a party, and you need that extra grip, don’t you?
When Shouldn’t You Use Denture Adhesive?
There are some instances when you shouldn’t use denture adhesive:
You have ill-fitting dentures. If you find you need more adhesive to keep dentures in place, see your dentist. You likely need your dentures adjusted, so stop using adhesive and make an appointment.
You have an allergic reaction. People can get allergic to anything from peanuts to shellfish, but sometimes ingredients in denture adhesive may not agree with you. If you should notice any adverse reactions stop using the adhesive immediately.
You have open cuts or sores in your mouth.
You do not keep your dentures or mouth clean.
Denture adhesive ingredients vary from product to product, and even between Fixodent adhesive products– you can see the exact list of ingredients on the product packaging and also on our website on each product page. In general, your average denture adhesive cream will have:
Zinc. This mineral helps the adhesive create that grip you need. See our article if you’re concerned about zinc in denture adhesive.
Mineral oil. This ingredient delivers the right denture cream consistency.
Petrolatum. Like mineral oil, this helps with consistency.
Cellulose gum. This ingredient helps the dentures stick in place.
Silica. Also works to help create the right consistency.
Red 27 Lake. This ingredient gives the adhesive its color.
How Long Does the Average Tube of Fixodent Last?
One 2.4 oz. tube of Fixodent denture adhesive cream will last 7 to 8 weeks and has an average shelf life of 3 years when stored at room temperature.
Now that you know how denture adhesive works and whether it’s right for you, you can go ahead and put some on your dentures and go confidently out into the world. If you’re not sure, we can show you how to apply Fixodent denture adhesive, so you can just bite through life and never worry about your dentures moving out of place again.