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Denture Pain and Resorbed Bad Bone

By March 8, 2022No Comments

Why do my complete dentures hurt after being fine for so many years; and what does it mean to have resorbed (“bad bone”)?

Complete dentures are fabricated for those who are edentulous (no remaining teeth). The denture must sit directly and comfortably on the remaining bone covered by gum tissue, which may be thick or thin tissue. Thick tissues gives you more cushion, but this is something that we were either given at birth or not.
Some denture wearers are told that they have “good bone” meaning that the dentures have a better chance of “sticking” or “sucking down” for stability. Other denture wearers may be warned that they have “poor bone” or bone that has flattened or resorbed over the years. Having poor bone structure may be due to many factors such as genetics, sleeping in your dentures (which eventually wears away your bone) or extreme wear which is normal if you have worn a denture or dentures for many years.

But the question you want answered is why do my dentures hurt after having no issues for many years?

Answer 1: Weight Loss

Our Dentists will ask the patient about recent weight loss.  If five to ten pounds have been lost, there is a great possibility that the denture has loosened. You may or may not need to use denture adhesive, but the denture does not feel as tight as it used to be.
This issue will be addressed in another article titled “What can I do to tighten my dentures?

Answer 2: Chipped Tooth

Another reason for denture pain may be from an accidental incident that created a chip or crack around the border of the denture. This may be as small as the size of a pin head or may even be a large chunk that occurred from a dropped denture. But as we all know from the story about The Princess and the Pea, the tiniest sharp spot is amplified when touching the sensitive tissue in your mouth. This will always cause pain upon the pressure of chewing and it can be unbearable pain. Your dentist can make a simple adjustment and you will get immediate relief.
Always check to see if a piece of food has not stuck to the inside of the denture or even on the top of the denture tooth or teeth. A high spot during chewing results in an unbalanced bite, which can cause a lot of pain or discomfort. Removing this irritant will remedy this issue immediately.

Answer 3: Abrasions on Gums

Another cause may be a cut or abrasion on your gum tissue where the denture touches your tissue. It may also be as simple as an aphthous ulcer (viral lesion) that most individuals are prone to once in awhile. This will heal on its on in a few days to a week, so no need to panic or run to see the dentist. If it doesn’t resolve, call your dentist to make sure you get a proper diagnosis. Removing the dentures as much as possible (obviously place them in for meals) will help the ulcers heal quicker. A sore spot may also not have a reasonable explanation for its cause, but a dentist can adjust it in a matter of minutes and you will feel back to normal.
You may have a bone on the roof of your mouth or on the lower tissue next to your tongue. This bone is totally normal. It’s called a tori if you have only one bony growth, or a torus if you have multiple bumps or lumpy bone. Most people do not even notice they are there until they grow a bit which is totally normal This larger bone will now impede the fit of their denture. If the tissue is completely smooth with no little lumps on it or no discoloration or red or black spots, you know it is a normal part of your anatomy. And now you know it by its proper name, a tori or torus if you have more than one.
The worst case scenario and please do not panic (but see your dentist asap), is a growth that is lumpy and just doesn’t “look right” (it is not smooth) usually next to your tongue on the floor of the mouth. This may be a cancerous lesion that will prevent your denture from seating properly. The sooner you get this diagnosed, the better the chance for a great outcome.
Lastly, removing the dentures at night will rest the tissues and will help in keeping your bone from resorbing or becoming “bad bone” in the future. Soak them and clean your gum tissues with a soft toothbrush or soft soft washcloth. Rinse your mouth with a gentle product like CloSYS Silver or CloSYS Sensitive if you are sensitive to oral rinse products.
And sometimes a sore spot pops up for no reason at all. A tiny adjustment of the denture can make it perfect in one simple step. Never attempt to adjust for any of these issues at home, and never ever ever try to use crazy glue or an over the counter denture repair kit to fix them at home yourself. This may result in the denture or denture lab to not get perfect alignment and a new denture may be necessary.
Check out our Denture page, and our Traveling Dental Services for more information. We are here to help the elderly and homebound.
A dentist in our network can easily adjust this in your home and you can resume wearing of your dentures.  See our locations served below:


New York

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