When should a denture adhesive be used?

You should talk to your dentist about whether or not a denture adhesive is necessary to keep your dentures in place. If your dentures are fairly new, keep in mind that it may take some time for you to get used to them. However, if you’ve had them for a while and they just won’t seem to stay in place, a denture adhesive may be necessary. Your dentist will probably try making several adjustments to your dentures before recommending a denture adhesive, and it’s never a good idea to use an adhesive to keep old, broken, or ill-fitting dentures in place. If your dentist does recommend a denture adhesive, it’s likely to come in a powder form. These tend to have less of an effect on your bite. If you do use a denture adhesive, be sure to clean your dentures thoroughly when you take them out at night. A buildup of old adhesive on your dentures could cause problems with your bite.

Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with your dentist immediately.

Denture adhesive should be used sparingly as directed to help the patient achieve increased retention and security with well-fitting dentures. In this situation only a small amount should be necessary. In fact, if too much is used the dentures will not seat properly and the bite will probably not feel correct.

If significant amounts of adhesive are required, it is an indication that the ridges has "shrunken" or resorbed. In this situation you will either need a reline or rebase of the existing denture, or maybe even new dentures. If the dentures are not adapting well to the gum tissue, inflammation will often occur creating an unhealthy condition which needs to be evaluated and treated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.