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Denture Pain

Written By Sharon Boyd, RDH, BS.       |       Reviewed by Lara T. Coseo, DDS

Contents
 1 Definition of Denture Pain
 2 What Causes Denture Pain
 3 Signs And Symptoms of Denture Pain
 4 How to Prevent Denture Pain
      i.   Proper Hygiene of Dentures and Mouth
      ii.  Proper Wear of Your Dentures
5 Treatments for Denture Pain
      i.   Professional Treatment for Denture Pain
           a. New Dentures
           b. Denture Re-lining
           c. Denture Adjustment
     ii.  Home Remedies for Denture Pain
 7 Your Questions About Denture Pain Answered
 8 References


What is Denture Pain

denture-pain
If you've ever worn dentures, you're fully aware of the pain they can cause. This is especially true during the early stages, because your gum tissue is still in shock from tooth extraction. During this time, it is important to be careful of what you eat, as excessive chewing and tougher foods can put added pressure on the delicate tissue of the gums and cause denture pain.
Denture pain is usually associated with raw, red tissues or yeast infections in the mouth. It may also be due to an improperly fitting denture or a denture that is not worn properly on a regular basis.

What Causes Denture Pain

Most denture pain is caused by bacteria being present in the mouth, on the denture, and against the roof of the mouth under where the denture is worn. When bacteria are not removed effectively and the denture is worn for an extended amount of time, redness or yeast infections can develop.

Another cause of denture pain is not wearing the denture all day and removing it each night. Allowing your mouth to become accustomed to a new denture takes time. If the denture does not fit properly it may cause sores due to rubbing.  

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Signs And Symptoms of Denture Pain

Denture pain is fairly straightforward, with specific symptoms associated with the condition. You may experience:
  • Isolated red areas on the skin under your denture
  • White patches of yeast on the skin under your denture
  • Raw, red tissue
  • Gums that appear to grow over your denture

How To Prevent Denture Pain

Properly cared for dentures should not cause pain or irritation when you wear them. The two common aspects that frequently cause denture pain can easily be prevented. 

Proper Hygiene Of Dentures And Mouth

Cleaning your dentures every night as well as the roof of your mouth and any areas covered by your dentures help prevent denture pain from infections such as yeast, thrush or other irritations caused by bacteria. Dentures should be soaked overnight in water, a denture cleaner, or solution to loosen debris so that it can be brushed away in the morning.

A clean denture as well as mouth with a healthy oral flora will prevent infections such as those associated with yeast. Be sure to use a 100% pure botanical toothpaste and mouthwash that will kill harmful bacteria and promote a healthy, balanced environment inside of your mouth. Click here to learn more.

Proper Wear Of Your Dentures Irregular wear of your dentures such as not taking them out at night or not wearing them throughout the day can either lead to your mouth becoming irritated or not accustomed to the appliances. This can cause gum tissue to be irritated.

Proper denture wear that supports a healthy mouth will include wearing the appliance all day and removing it each night for soaking and oral hygiene. Here are some more things to know about preventing gum disease.

 

Treatments for Denture Pain

Dental Mac 06
Typical denture pain relief involves professional treatments, home remedies, or a combination of the two, depending on what is causing your denture pain.


Professional Treatment

Traditional treatment for denture pain usually includes one of the following options:
  • New denture - If the dentures are causing pain in your mouth due to them being worn out or not fitting properly, you may need to have new dentures made.

  • Denture re-aligning - Ill-fitting dentures that do not fit properly may need to be professionally re-lined in order to conform to your oral anatomy and prevent wear. Price is determined on lab fees.

  • Denture adjustment - Performed in the dental office, typically free of charge. The denture is ground down in areas that may be rubbing too hard against your gum tissues

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  • Appropriate wear times - Dentures should never be worn overnight as this can cause oral tissues to become infected. Not wearing the denture regularly throughout the day may also cause irritation due to your mouth not becoming accustomed to the denture properly.

  • Cleaning your denture thoroughly - If you have buildup of bacteria on your denture it means that bacteria are being placed directly in your mouth against your delicate tissues. Soak your denture each night in a denture cleaner or a water-based anti-microbial rinse, then brush your denture thoroughly in the morning to remove all loosened bacteria deposits. Use a separate brush for your dentures than you do for any remaining teeth.

  • Cleaning your mouth thoroughly - Poor oral hygiene and heavy amounts of plaque or food debris in your mouth can cause fungal infections to develop under your denture. This causes the tissues to become red and raw. Not only should you clean your teeth and gums, but clean the roof of your mouth thoroughly and use an anti-bacteria mouth rinse such as one containing an essential oil to restore the mouth’s proper natural flora.(1) The best way to achieve this is to use a 100% pure botanical toothpaste/mouthwash combination along with a simple daily oral hygiene program. Click here to learn more.

If you're experiencing pain from new dentures, there are a few options at your disposal. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be of some help, but often take more time to provide relief than you'd like.

Among the best solutions that you can use topically to help soothe oral pain is peppermint oil. It has a cooling effect, and because it is an oil it will quickly absorb into the tissues. It has also been known to help your mouth produce more saliva, which because it is full of oxygen, will help eliminate bacteria that can cause or worsen swelling, inflammation, and pain in the gums from ill-fitting dentures.

Be careful in choosing products to clean your dentures because some of them contain ingredients that can increase bacteria growth, which in turn will increase the chances or irritation and pain while wearing dentures.

Your Questions About Denture Pain Answered

How can I get rid of denture pain? Most denture pain can be alleviated by keeping your dentures clean, thoroughly cleaning your mouth every day - including your gum tissue - as well as making sure your dentures fit properly. Extended wear is unhealthy for your gum tissue. Taking your dentures out at night to clean them and soak overnight allows your mouth a chance to rest.

What causes my dentures to hurt? Most dentures hurt when you wear them for an extended amount of time without taking them out at night. Failing to clean them every day and not keeping your tissues healthy can easily cause irritation and infection.

There is buildup on my dentures. Does this make them hurt when I wear them? Plaque and tartar on your dentures can increase your risk for developing oral infections. This makes your oral tissues and skin red and irritated. You should take your dentures out every night to clean them and allow them to soak in a solution that loosens the debris, brushing them thoroughly before placing them back in your mouth in the morning.

My gums and roof of my mouth are red and raw under my dentures. Why is this? This is due to lack of oxygen and increased bacteria in the area due to excessive denture wear or inadequate cleaning. Remember to keep your mouth and gums clean and free of harmful bacteria with this 100% pure botanical toothpaste and mouthwash.

What is denture stomatitis and is it painful? Denture stomatitis is a type of fungal infection or rash that occurs on the tissues that your denture rests against during the day. It’s usually due to inadequate hygiene or a compromised immune system.

Are dentures painful to wear? A well-fitting denture shouldn’t hurt to wear. If you’re in pain when you wear a denture, it could be that the prosthesis needs to be adjusted or relined, or that you have an oral infection.

Is getting them painful? Adjusting to dentures can take time and a bit of practice. But if you’re in pain, never try to force your way through it.

Does denture pain go away? The initial discomfort that some people experience with getting dentures will gradually improve over the first few weeks. The more you wear them, the better used to them you’ll be. But if it hurts when you put your denture in, there may be something wrong.

Can denture pain come and go? Denture pain that comes and goes usually means that there’s something else going on, such as an oral infection. If you have any signs of swelling or redness, let your dentist know and be sure to clean your mouth thoroughly each day.

How long will denture pain last? An infection like denture stomatitis can last weeks or even months if it isn’t treated properly. Denture pain is not normal, so if something hurts you need to have it addressed; it won’t go away on its own.

What helps denture pain? If your pain is coming from an infection such as thrush, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes cleaning your denture, soaking it overnight, and cleaning the inside of your mouth. If the cause is because of a poor denture fit, see your dentist to have it adjusted.

What causes denture pain?

Some of the things that can cause denture pain include:

  • Thrush or denture stomatitis
  • Improper denture fit
  • Broken denture
  • Ulcers or canker sores
  • Bone loss

Does denture pain get worse at night? You should never sleep in a denture. Doing so will promote oral infections and additional denture pain. Soak your appliance in a gentle cleanser overnight and clean it thoroughly the next morning.

How do I relieve denture pain and stop it? Oral infections like thrush/denture stomatitis can be improved with better oral hygiene. An antimicrobial, non-alcoholic mouth rinse can be used before you go to bed at night and in the morning before you put your denture in. But if symptoms don’t improve within a few days, you need to see a dentist.

How can I soothe denture pain? You need to first determine if the pain is caused by an oral infection or an ill-fitting denture. The fit can only be corrected by your dentist. If it’s an infection, spend more time cleaning your denture and mouth and take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen if needed.

Can denture adhesives cause stomach pain? If you’re using too much denture paste or powder, it’s possible to swallow some of the residue, which isn’t good for your gastrointestinal tract. A properly fitting denture shouldn’t need adhesive to wear it comfortably.

Why do I get denture pain when eating? When you eat, you’re placing direct pressure and biting forces on your denture, which in turn presses into your overall mouth. Sore spots or areas where it doesn’t fit well will hurt more during these times.

References:

  1. Ninomiva K, Maruyama N, Inoune S, Ishibashi H, Takizawa T, Oshima H, Abe S,; The Essential Oil Of Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil) And Its Main Component, Terpinin-4-ol protect mice from experimental oral candidiasis.; Biol Pharm Bull. 2012:35(6):861-5.

Article Written By Sharon Boyd

Sharon has been a Registered Dental Hygienist since 2001. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Relations and Business. In 2011, she began implementing her dental knowledge into freelance writing services that aided dentists, product designers, continuing education providers and web marketing firms for their online and distribution purposes. She has since bridged her services into the medical and cosmetic surgery fields.

Website

 Lara T. Coseo, DDSArticle Reviewed by Dr. Lara Coseo

Lara T. Coseo, DDS, is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry.  She has 13 years of experience practicing general dentistry.  She currently serves as a part-time faculty instructor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry and writes dental website content and blog material.

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