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Are your Dentures Causing Your Sore Gums?

Loose or ill-fitting dentures will chaff - resulting in sore gums.

Sore Gums Caused by Denture - by Dr Dean Lloyd

As with anything in life, to solve a problem, you first need to understand what the problem is, and only then can you go about finding ways to solve that problem. With dentures - it’s no different.


Now I can hear you saying,

“Dean, the problem is simple, my dentures hurt like hell, drop down when I smile, I get food under them when I eat, and they just look plain awful.”

So, let’s examine exactly what dentures are, and what they are not!

Dentures are not just a lump of plastic that replaces your natural teeth which have been extracted. No ...

Satisfied Denture Wearer by Dr Dean Lloyd
  • A well-designed denture must fit snugly and follow the contours of your gums.

  • Must have correctly chosen three-dimensional teeth fitted. (Please Note: YOUR Choice - Not the doctor's!)

  • The teeth must be placed in the same, or a better, position than your natural teeth were.

  • The denture must build out your mouth, lips, and cheeks to restore your facial profile to one of the same as, or younger than, you were before your teeth were extracted.

  • Your denture teeth must last at least 8 to 10 years or more, whilst still looking natural and clean for the full life of your denture.

  • Your denture must complement your smile.

  • Your denture must not cause excessive saliva.

  • And … your dentures must not look like false teeth!

A well-designed set of dentures, or partial denture, can give you both the physical appearance you desire, as well as the psychological confidence you deserve.

This is all possible, but only if you approach your denture-wearing experience with some simple facts, and a little insistence, the next time you visit your dental practitioner.

In this Blog, I will show you one of the five home tests you can do to start finding out what's going on with your dentures. This test will determine whether the setting of your teeth is causing your dentures to be loose, resulting in sore gums.

Home Test #1 of 5: (See eBook Details)

So, why do dentures cause sore gums? Well, there’s a handful of reasons, but let's get one thing straight. Dentures cause sore gums because they MOVE.

I always give this example to my patients.


If I held a rough plank of wood against my leg all day long - nothing would happen. But, if I chaffed the wood up and down my leg for 5 minutes, I would:

1. Develop a tender spot, 

2. My leg tissue would swell toward the wood (making the scraping even worse) and,

3. If I continued to chaff the wood against my leg, the skin tissue would break open and form a sore. (In the case of a denture - a sore painful gum ulcer or canker sore)

So then, the next question is, "why do dentures move?"

Well, again there are a handful of reasons why they move. Here's just one of those reasons, and one of the five home tests you can do right now.

Tooth to Tooth Clashing!
Yep, if the teeth on your dentures are incorrectly set, the front top and front bottom teeth will clash every time you pronounce an "S" sounding word.


How many times per day do you use a word with an "S" in the spelling? Yeah, I know, that's a dam lot of clashing (and chaffing) if you ask me.


So, this is what you do.

Stand upright with your full dentures in place - then ask a friend to stand in front of you.

Your friend must concentrate their vision on your front top and front bottom teeth.

Front Denture Teeth Edge to Edge by Dr Dean Lloyd

OK, once you are both ready, I want you to count to ten. As you pass SIX, ("S") your friend must note the gap between your top front teeth and your lower front teeth. (Don't stop counting when you reach six, continue straight through until you reach ten.) 


On any "S" sounding word, your front top teeth and lower front teeth move over each other. Your teeth must NOT touch during any "S" word pronunciation.


1. If there is no gap - your teeth may be clashing on "S" sounding words causing one, or both, dentures to move! Quite clearly, if the teeth are clashing, some sort of movement must be taking place. Movement like this will definitely cause sore gums.

2. If there is a 1 - 2mm (0.04 - 0.08in) gap between your teeth - that is the correct space and is not the cause of your sore gums.

3. If the gap is greater than 4 - 6mm (0.16 - 0.24in), your jaw may be moving up too far before tooth contact is made and could be the cause of a painful jaw! (This, however, is the subject for another day.)


There you have it.


Try this at home, either on your own dentures or with someone you know who has sore gums. You may need to do the test a few times over to get the best results.

Author: Dr Dean Lloyd

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