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    Thread: Tips for adjusting to dentures

    1. #1
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      Default Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Morning, I need a little help with advice on adjusting to new Dentures. Firstly a little background, I'm 32 years of age and had a traumatic accident as a young (9 years old) child that resulted in most of my top front teeth being crushed into my bottom lip. I had reconstructive surgery, however as the years went on the reconstruction began to fall apart and my parents were unable to afford the continual dental work I really needed. This resulted in extreme pain when brushing, thus I stopped proper maintenance of my teeth. Needless to say, for about the past 17 years I've dealt with daily mouth pain, abscesses, and difficulty eating certain foods. As I've been able to afford it I have had infected teeth extracted, but recently I was able to get proper dental insurance. Shortly after this I had a massive infection in which I needed to have 4 teeth removed. After much discussion with my dentist, research online, and talking things over with friends and family I decided to bite the bullet so to speak. I had 24 teeth removed (22 in one visit), 4 root canals and got fitted for dentures.

      Currently I have a full upper denture, and an over denture on the bottom. I have an upcoming visit to the dentist in a few days for a reline to take care of adjustments, and at some point in the coming weeks I need to go in to have posts inserted into my few remaining bottom teeth to provide anchors for the bottom denture. At the moment I am using Fixodent to keep my lowers in position.

      My questions are basically involving getting used to the new mouth situation. I have gone for so long with fairly broken, worn, and painful teeth, which left quite a bit of open space in my mouth, that I am having some difficulty in adjusting to the vastly reduced space inside my mouth. It honestly feels like I have a Buick parked in there right now. I can only relate it to when I wrestled in high school and had to wear a mouth guard.

      This loss of space has made learning to eat exceedingly difficult. Not only because of the loss of sensation, but also less room to move the food around and being unable to get at the lower and upper portions of my cheeks with my tongue. Aside from this issue there is also the problem of facial structure changes. I've noticed more and more over the past few days that the lip area under my nose as well as my lower jaw protrudes more. This is something I didn't notice right away when I got my final fitting for the denture and I can tell from close examination and touching that it is a result of the thick front plate portion of the denture.

      Thankfully the speech problems have not been as much of an issue for me as I have heard them be for some other first time denture wearers, likely because I have some acting background and training thus I have learned the various ways you can alter your speech pattern. Unfortunately this same training is likely magnifying my complications of the appearance adjustments. I do enjoy being able to smile again, but it very much feels unnatural, something I hope time will mend.

      I am also experiencing some physical discomfort, nothing reaching open sore level yet, but there are 4 points inside my mouth where there is definitive pain from the pressure, which is likely causing the random headaches I have been getting since wearing the dentures.

      I'm certainly not to the point of giving up and just going without teeth, but there have definitely been a few moments where frustration nearly got the better of me. Most pronounced when I tried eating my first bite sized piece of lightly breaded chicken.

      So here's what I am trying to do to cope with things; drinking from a straw when possible, eating mostly pasta and fish, drinking lots of fluids (it seems to help with the constant salivation), looking in mirrors several times a day (to try and get accustomed to the appearance change), going out in public often, and speaking aloud (thankfully I have old play scripts to practice from).

      If anyone has any suggestions or comments on my situation I would be immensely appreciative!!!

      Thanks in advance,
      Miko

    2. #2
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      I am 31 year old female and last year got a full upper denture!
      Tips for the speech is try counting to your self....saying sentences to yourself and so on....It took about a week for me and I was talking pretty much the way I used too!

      Just rtemeber that this is a huge adjustment....I had the same thing with my top lip sticking out and it really bothered me!I went back to my dentist and he was able to fix that right there in his office.If you don't like the way they look defanatly go back and tell them what your not happy about!

      try chewing little tiny bits of food(real small)I used to practice by eating little bites of bread....it was soft but still required some chewing.When I had my first cheese puff ,I was so happy(it had been 10 years since I culd eat anything to hard!
      Again you will get used to chewing as well....I know that isn't reasurring now but I promise they will feel natural in no time!

      I can honestly say That about a month after I got my denture that They felt like part of my mouth.Just give yourself time to adjust!I am so much happier.
      When I first realized that I had a mouthful of teeth for the first time in like ever...I noticed my smile was crooked...but my dentist pointed out that it only looks crooked because I didn't have any teeth there before.I was like wow ok so This is the way Im supposed to look...LOL...YAY
      Just hang in there and I promise you will be used to it in no time!
      If you are not happy with it go back to your dentist and they will be able to help.
      Congrat's on the tooth sucess and be super proud of yourself!!!
      Last edited by Mary; 3rd April 2009 at 22:25.
      Grateful for each & every Day

    3. #3
      Join Date
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Hi Miko,

      I cant offer any advice as yet, as i only got my full upper yesterday morning.
      However, i'd had a partial before so it wasnt AS big a deal for me, ie......... having my palate covered. ( still a big change tho) However, when i first had it, i found it easier to chew on both sides as opposed to chewing on one side at a time? ( hope that makes sense)
      And i spent ages reading out loud, counting from 60 - 69 etc, I recorded myself on the pc using voice recorder and played it back. i was amazed to find that i didnt sound quite so bad as i thought?
      Not such a lost cause after all :-)

    4. #4
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Thanks muchly Mary and HDF,,, it's always comforting hearing from people that have gone through similar situations...

      Thankfully speaking has not been a real problem for me, although several people have indicated that I do sound different. What I am most concerned about at the moment tho is the discomfort. On Monday I will certainly be discussing the particular 4 points of excessive pressure with my Dentist, as well as watching for any changes to the pressure that would indicate sores,,, the pain just makes me very apprehensive about the whole process. Going into this I certainly did not want to trade one pain for another...

    5. #5
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Hey Miko:

      I have full dentures (both top and bottom) and now had them for 6 months.
      I have to truly say that 'life is good with my new teeth'. I really consider them 'my teeth' and there is really nothing I won't eat (within reason).Biting into things will never be the same, but once I get the food into my mouth, it feels great.

      I remember coming home from the dentist with them in for the first time, and thought how could I possiblly eat with what felt like two shoes in my mouth.
      It did take a while to learn to be comfortable eating with them. I started with small bites and lots of chewing - which can have a added benefit to the waistline!
      As the weeks went on, I kept eating more things - just cutting them small.

      I did have quite a few adjustments from the dentist over the months, up til reline at month 5.
      Your gums will continue to change shape and sore spots can happen. If you can't get to the dentist right away, a small emery board and a bit of filing helped me.

      It really will get better and better!
      Denise

    6. #6
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Thanks to everyone that commented... I thought it would be good to provide an update on things... I had to have several modifications to both appliances on Monday, and I waited 36 hours after the modifications to put them back in for an extended use to give my gums some healing time (btw, clove oil works wonders on sores and gum fatigue!), so basically the past two days have been much better than last week when the dentures were causing me so much pain. Tomorrow I go in for a bite alignment adjustment, thankfully, because right now the dentures are not fitting together well when I clench down...

      All in all I think that the entire ordeal has been fairly normal for denture wearers, and I am handling things well I think, but I wonder how many people that have had to go from having their own teeth to full dentures were well enough prepared by their dentist??? I certainly feel my dentist has done a good job with my situation and his workmanship and chairside manner was wonderful, but I think he could have done better in explaining what I should expect to go through and how to handle different things...

    7. #7
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      May 2007
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      tomorrow I go in for a bite alignment adjustment, thankfully, because right now the dentures are not fitting together well when I clench down...
      I'm soooooooo looking forward to that, the adjustment.

      All in all I think that the entire ordeal has been fairly normal for denture wearers, and I am handling things well I think, but I wonder how many people that have had to go from having their own teeth to full dentures were well enough prepared by their dentist??? I certainly feel my dentist has done a good job with my situation and his workmanship and chairside manner was wonderful, but I think he could have done better in explaining what I should expect to go through and how to handle different things...[/quote]

      My new dentist has a wonderful chairside manner too,,,,,,,,makes all the difference eh?
      Not such a lost cause after all :-)

    8. #8
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      Important Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Quote Originally Posted by rockhollow View Post
      Your gums will continue to change shape and sore spots can happen. If you can't get to the dentist right away, a small emery board and a bit of filing helped me.
      I'm going to be going in Friday myself for the dreaded 'extraction/denture' process, but I read this and wanted to chime in. As someone who has had family members and friends wearing dentures, I can't emphasize enough NOT to make any alterations to your denture yourself. Even the smallest 'adjustment' you make can damage it, causing more troubles down the road.

      Just my two cents, :-)
      CW

    9. #9
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      To be fair CelticWolfWoman, I think that making your own adjustments is a risky task, but an intelligent person that is confident in their manual dexterity is capable. I have had to make a few adjustments myself where edges weren't well rounded, or after some gum change a minor tweak was needed. I certainly would not advocate making major discomfort modifications, but small ones could generally be done, if you think very carefully about it and are just as careful in executing the change.

      As an aside, my dentures have been doing extremely well. For mother's day I was able to go to a barbeque and eat everything except the corn on the cob (figured I shouldn't push my luck). Recently I have been eating steaks as well, and much of my appetite has returned. I still need to go in for my final relign, which is tomorrow, but I think that everything has gone very well with only a three month start to finish process.

      Good luck to you on your extractions Friday CelticWolfWoman!


    10. #10
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      Default Re: Tips for adjusting to dentures

      Well said, and I agree. By no means was I intending to insult intelligence or manual dexterity. Speaking from my own perspective, I know my luck, I'd end up borking something up.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes, I've had this lined up for the last month, but now that I'm 'down to the wire' the nerves are kicking in, I'll be glad when it's all over with!

      CW

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