Question: I lost some weight recently and now my denture is loose. What should I do?
Answer: Some people think that after they get full dentures, their days of visiting the dentist are over. On one hand, of course, they are correct. The days of fillings, root canals and teeth cleanings are done. Usually the first few years of having a denture are worry free. On the other hand, there are some good reasons to keep up a yearly visit to your dentist.
Firstly, a yearly visit gives us the opportunity to do an oral exam. In our office, this means checking your head and neck for any signs of something abnormal such as oral cancer, sores, swollen glands and other things which would necessitate a further examination. For the oral cancer screening we use state of the art technology to detect precancerous lesions that cannot be seen yet with the naked eye. Early detection can result in increased success rate during treatment. Not having teeth does not decrease your risk of oral cancer, so this is an important test to have each year.
We also professionally clean your denture and evaluate the fit. Even though the teeth are gone, the bone in your mouth changes shape over time. As you stated, loosing weight can also affect the fit of your denture. A nicely fitting denture makes eating more comfortable and can eliminate the need for denture adhesives. Some times your existing denture can be relined, and sometimes a new one is needed. You can discuss and decide these things with your dentist at your appointment.
Another thing you may be interested is dental implants. These devices can be used to either secure a denture or even eliminate it altogether. Implants are very secure, very reliable and can be done in a cost effective manner. Your dentist can give you more information on this wonderful option.
There are some good reasons to visit your dentist even if you don’t have teeth. Having a professional do a thorough examination of your mouth once a year can prevent problems and address oral health issues early in order to keep you healthy.
Deborah Petronio D.D.S.
Aurora Dental Care