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A dentist demonstrates with a set of dentures the possible problems that can come with using denture liners, adhesives, glues and more.

Problems Using Denture Liners, Adhesives, Glues, Creams, and Powders

4 minutes to read

Posted: Jul 16, 2021

There are so many different products to help make dentures more functional and more comfortable that it makes finding what you need (and realizing what you don’t) overwhelming. Here is what the American College of Prosthodontists has to say on the subject.

I have worn dentures for more than 45 years, but just recently got a new set made. My previous set was loose, but I never had to use denture adhesive. Now, with my new set (two days old), my dentist wants me to use adhesive. I never had to use denture adhesive cream before; why do I need to use adhesive now? Adhesives can leak out, and I don’t like the taste. Do I really have to use adhesive?

Answer: This is a very common problem with patients who have worn dentures for such a long time. Usually, there is so little bone to support dentures that there is nothing left to support them. Over time, you have learned how to wear them and have become comfortable with your old set. When new dentures are made with no supporting bone, they are made to fit the mouth in its current state. The bite has also changed due to all of the wear of the older teeth. So when a new set is made and it feels so different, you notice the movement, whereas before you adapted over time and did not notice the movement. While it is possible to wear comfortable and functional properly fitting dentures without adhesive, in most cases dental adhesive can improve the retention and stability of your dentures as long as it is used according to instructions. Do not use too much. Use three or four dabs of adhesive—about the size of the eraser on a pencil. Do not use large amounts. You may want to explore dental implants to support dentures. To learn about proper denture care, visit the American College of Prosthodontists online at www.prosthodontics.org.

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists.

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How do I get bottom dentures out if I used too much adhesive cream?

Answer: The dentures will eventually come out. You are using too much if the product oozes after inserting the denture. To remove your dentures, swish your mouth with warm water or a mouthwash like Scope. Warm water will help loosen the seal. For the bottom denture: Pull slowly on the denture (do not jerk) while applying a rocking motion. For the upper denture (Removal may be more difficult—more surface area): Place thumb against the inside front teeth. Press upward and outward toward your nose. If the suggestions above don't work: Rinse the mouth again with warm water and try blowing up a balloon or blowing a whistle. Bite into a firm piece of fruit or vegetable, like an apple or an ear of corn. Avoid using any object except your fingers (not your fingernails) to pry the denture loose to avoid injury. Wait overnight if your airway is not compromised (no difficulty breathing, dentures not blocking airway, etc.) and try again in the morning after a cup of coffee or tea. If you do not have success with these techniques and you are uncomfortable leaving your dentures in overnight, you could seek assistance in a hospital emergency room or a 24-hour dental service.

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists.

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I am wearing my new bottom denture after having two teeth extracted five days ago. Today was the first day I used an adhesive to keep my denture in place. Unfortunately, it didn't hold for the entire day as I had hoped it would. My gums, in the meantime, are very sore from keeping the lower denture from slipping around. Is there something, other than rinsing my mouth out with warm saltwater, to help minimize some of the pain and sore spots on my gums?

Answer: Before using denture adhesive, you should wait until the areas where the teeth were removed heal—usually about seven to 10 days. It will be more comfortable for you to apply denture adhesive once the gum tissue has grown over the extraction sites. However, a very small amount of denture adhesive may be used on the part of the denture that touches the roof of your mouth if needed immediately after the teeth are removed. To learn how to properly apply denture adhesive, visit the American College of Prosthodontists online at www.prosthodontics.org, an organization of prosthodontists, who are dentists with three years of additional training in denture care. Ask your pharmacist for an over-the-counter cream containing benzocaine. Carefully follow the directions. However, if the sore spots continue for longer than two or three days, you need to return to your dentist or prosthodontist for an adjustment of the partial. Chronic sore spots will not “heal” on their own. To find a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org.

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists.

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After five weeks post-op with new permanent dentures, what can be done with loose, wobbly, irritating lower denture? I hate the messy, gooey adhesive that sticks to my lower gum. Powder doesn't hold. How do I get the lower denture to stay in place?

Answer: If these dentures were placed the same day your teeth were extracted, your gums and jawbone may have changed enough that the dentures are not adapted very well to your mouth. Remember that once the teeth are gone, the jaw begins to shrink. Although this shrinkage is dramatic for the first six months, then slows down, you must remember that it is an ongoing, long-term concern for denture wearers and affects the fit of the dentures over the years. You have experienced some significant changes in your jawbone since your teeth were extracted three months ago, and the temporary dentures do not fit as well as they did when you first got them. Go back to the dentist who made your dentures for an evaluation and his or her recommendations. The dentist may decide that a temporary soft liner or tissue conditioner is required to improve the fit of your dentures until your tissues have stabilized.

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists.

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I had an immediate upper denture relined one month after extractions. Ten days later, it is already loose. How often should immediate dentures be relined? The dentist says my new lower partial does not need relining, but he is unable to get it adjusted so that the metal does not cut into my gum. I wore a lower partial previously, but the tooth where it clasped was extracted; the tooth was large, and the roots were enormously long. Wouldn't a reline possibly help lift that metal?

Answer: The use of immediate dentures (dentures placed at the time of extraction) is a good practice to allow patients time to get used to them. It also allows a chance for the wounds created after extractions to have gentle pressure applied to help with healing. Because the biggest change in jawbone shape occurs six months to one year after removal of teeth, it may become necessary to remake the dentures. This is especially useful if a large number of teeth have been removed, as the changes are also large. It is difficult to make upper and lower immediate dentures fit well on the underside while also creating a comfortable bite. The better option is to consider remaking the upper and lower complete dentures one year after tooth extraction. The advantage is that the dentures will fit the best possible and they will be comfortable. The disadvantage is that the costs are more and they will require more visits to the office. If the patient decides to stay with the immediate dentures and consider relining them, it is very difficult to reline them further down the line as additional changes take place. A prosthodontist, a dental specialist with three years of additional education after dental school, is trained to serve patients with a combination of needs, including dentures. To find a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org.

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists.

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