Denture Q & A


Thanks for the great questions. I like to see my patients every year just like a normal dental check-up. A lot can happen in a year and this can result in bone loss, gum changes so it’s good to keep a close eye on your denture health. In terms of relines I find a general date range for considering a reline is between years 3 and 5 of the denture lifecycle. When patients come in I like to do a denture base test to determine if this is needed. This is a paste placed under the denture and then I put a small amount of pressure on the denture, seating it into the correct position in the mouth. When the material sets if there is a thick layer of material under the denture then chances are you may need a reline. If the layer is paper thin this proves that reline is not really needed at this point and your gums have not had any drastic changes. Just quickly back to the annual check-up part of your question. I noticed a blog post that Vince dealt with earlier where he mentioned plaque and calculus on the dentures. It’s not good for this bacteria to sit and touch natural teeth as decay can occur. At the annual appointment I generally include a “denture tune up and clean”. Hope that helped and I look for to seeing you at your next check-up.
That question may seem strange to non-denture wearers but for you who has to use them every day it’s a reality isn’t it! Here is the reason and it literally can be one of two things. 1 Poorly fitting dentures or 2. Gravity. I will deal with issue 1. before I move onto what you are probably thinking is a very strange response, i.e. Gravity. If your lower denture is old or you have had some health changes of late, your gum and bone levels can change or even shrink. When this happens the denture does not have the ability to morph and follow the shrinkage of your bone/gum. So here we have a denture that looks and is shaped like your gums at the time of making (that could have been years ago for some people) but your gums and bone are now very different.  For reason 2. Gravity; it all comes down to physics. What goes up must come down right! Well in the case of top full dentures this is not necessarily always so. In top full dentures they should stay up with suction (note I say ‘should’ and if it isn’t they come in and see us). It is however very rare that a bottom full denture will have suction. So how does it stay in place then? It stays in place by the muscles in your mouth juggling it and by gravity. To make sure a bottom denture is functioning at its optimal it may be necessary for some patients to have some implant treatment.
I get this question all the time. It’s very simple actually and just means your salvia flow is probably working very well, so well done. If you have eaten a piece of dry bread at any time you may have accidentally seen a squirt of saliva shoot from underneath your tongue. Well this squirt is your finely tuned saliva ducts shooting to mix with the food you are eating and assist in digestion. If this food residue and saliva sit for too long on your denture it creates plaque just like you will get on a natural tooth. The simple reason it is more common on the bottom plate behind the front teeth is that it is closer to the saliva duct. Trick is to try and give your dentures a good rinse after each meal and then a scrub after your last meal at night before bed. It’s also a good habit to keep your plate out at night times. Give those teeth and gums a break. Come on in Jane we can give your plate a polish getting rid of all the plaque and calculus. Shouldn’t take us more than 10mins. Look forward to seeing you soon!


If you have a question you would like to ask the denture experts feel free to write to us on We will post only your first name suburb and your question along with the response. Please note that responses sometimes are generic as all mouths are different and will require a face to face consultation for an individualised treatment plan. Happy eating!


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