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,