In order to have an effective and comfortable denture-wearing experience, your dentures need to fit perfectly. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can alter the fit of your dentures. Some of them are; medications, bone loss, over time wear and tear, weight loss and saliva. For your best bet of getting dentures that fit perfectly, you should go to a company that is reliable such as Mobile Denture Repair Company.
While many people don’t think about it, saliva actually plays a very important role in keeping the mouth healthy, especially for denture wearers. On average, we produce about 0.5-1.5 litres of saliva every single day. The saliva, which contains mucus, water, mineral salts, proteins, and amylase, helps in cleansing the mouth and collecting food particles, bacteria and white blood cells.
Inadequate saliva or dry mouth is a problem that is quite common among denture wearers. Keep reading to see what dry mouth is and how a lack of enough saliva can affect your denture-wearing experience.
Why is Saliva Important for Denture Wearers?
Although saliva is essential to everyone’s oral health, it is especially important for denture wearers because;
- By acting as a lubricant, it helps prevent abrasion and irritation which may cause sore spots in the mouth.
- It provides good suction between the gum tissue and the denture, thus making the denture more stable.
- It helps prevent oral diseases like oral stomatitis and thrush.
- It helps denture wearers prevent the many problems (sores, gum infection and irritation, pain) associated with loose dentures.
What is Dry Mouth?
Also known as Xerostomia, dry mouth is a condition that occurs when a person’s salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to adequately wet the mouth. While dry mouth can be an issue for anyone, denture wearers are especially susceptible to its negative effects. This is because, a lack of saliva can compromise the fit of dentures, making them very uncomfortable to wear.
How Dry Mouth Can Affect Your Denture Experience
For your dentures to function properly, they need to be in contact with an adequate amount of saliva at all times. When you eat, it is the saliva that saturates the food particles and aids swallowing. This means that a lack of saliva can encourage the build-up of food particles which can breed bacteria and increase your risk of oral infections.
The layer of saliva between the dentures and your gums also helps with suction and keeping the dentures in place. Its lubricating effect will also prevent friction and rubbing between the dentures and your gums, hence, no sore spots.
A dry mouth essentially alters the fit of your dentures, making it difficult for you to chew and speak properly.
Symptoms Of Dry Mouth
You are likely suffering from dry mouth if you frequently experience; a sticky feeling in your mouth, stringy and thick saliva, sore or dry throat, bad breath, the feeling of dryness in the mouth, difficulty chewing and swallowing, altered sense of taste, grooved (dry) tongue, hoarse voice, pebbled looking tongue and of course, problems with keeping your dentures in place.
Causes of dry Mouth
Some of the common causes of dry mouth include; certain medications (decongestants, antidepressants, and blood pressure medicine), mouth breathing, smoking and other tobacco products, illnesses (salivary gland tumors, liver dysfunction, digestive issues and diabetes), aging, poor oral hygiene and radiation therapy.
It is important to note that, although dry mouth can lead to a lot of discomfort for denture wearers, it is NOT caused by dentures.
Relieving Dry Mouth
As a denture wearer, you can relieve dry mouth by; staying hydrated throughout the day (water or sugar-free drinks are recommended), chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva, avoiding drinks like alcohol and caffeine (they tend to dry out the mouth), avoiding tobacco and its products, considering some saliva-substitute products like gels, sprays and rinses.
Do make sure to also contact your dentist for possible solutions if any of the above doesn’t work. Also, if any of your medications are causing dry mouth, talk to your doctor about other alternatives before stopping the medication.
Proper fitting dentures are essential for a comfortable denture-wearing experience and dry mouth is one of the conditions that can alter the fit of your dentures. Be sure to consult your dentist if you are suffering from dry mouth and make sure to practice good oral hygiene and stay hydrated.