Dry Mouth and Denture Fit!

The fit of a denture can become compromised due to many factors including weight loss, bone loss, medications, and saliva.  Many people that wear dentures also suffer from an uncomfortable condition called “dry mouth.”  Also known as Xerostomia in medical fields, this condition is uncomfortable and affects a denture wearer’s ability to comfortably wear their dental appliance.  Dry mouth may lead to loose dentures or even worse - irritations, sores, and possible infections of the gums and mouth lining.  Dentures do not cause dry mouth, however, the lack of ability to produce saliva as we age is definitely an issue.

Dry mouth is not only a condition where there is a lack of secretion of saliva from the mouth, but also something that you won’t smile about. Saliva is essential to denture wearers and the lack of it affects a significant portion of the population who wears dentures.  Saliva moistens food particles for swallowing and helps to create suction between the denture and tissues of the mouth.  It also acts as a lubricant and prevents irritation from the denture that may cause sores from friction on gums.  A lack of moisture in the mouth can lead to increased bacterial growth and fungal infections in the mouth such as thrush, angular cheilitis, or oral stomatitis. 

If you are a denture wearer, you must do everything you can to keep your mouth well-moistened.  Besides drinking water, you can also spray your mouth and suck on lozenges that are designed to lubricate your mouth and tissues.  This problem does not need to deter you from wearing dentures!  Instead, with a little extra self care, you can happily wear your dentures without the problems of dry mouth!