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NEW UPPER DENTURES - should it really be this bad?



Junior member
Aug 14, 2021
Auckland, New Zealand
Hi guys, I recently had to have all my upper teeth removed and had now had upper dentures in for nearly 1 month. So far it's not going well. I was told to expect ulcers which I still have and use salt and hot water to swish with every few hours. My upper gum line was very out of line as several back teeth had been removed much earlier and the bone had receded. My problem is the pain is getting getting me down and after 1 month I thought I could at least eat a piece of toast but even that's out. Every single time I try to get something "semi" solid, like a hot chip, my dentures move around all over the place and even with the glue they won't stay in place. Is this normal? My right side back of the dentures seems to be really digging into the bone area and that's causing so much pain - I'm getting to the point where I'm just miserable all day, every day. I am booked to see the Dentist again on the 31st and will tell her all of my concerns. I really came on here to see if others have gone through similar issues with their top denture, as this is just a nightmare. I know in a couple of months I go to a specialist for a "total realignment" (not sure what that even means) but I'm not sure I can put up with this for much longer. I guess I want someone to say "this is all normal" and it will sort itself out. But somehow I feel the usual experience isn't this bad. Hell my father who is 91 has never EVER had any problems with his dentures and you'd think that all these decades later they would have found a much nicer/easier way of doing them. I'm living off smoothies more or less, and scrambled eggs - nothing solid at all. I have paid around $5,500 for them so far and feel like I'd have gotten a better job from a mechanic LOL. Sorry, but I'm just so frustrated over it all. Any help out there? Anyone going through the same thing? Thanks! Karen.
Hi, it's normal to have to see your dentist several times after getting new dentures, because they *will* require adjustments. We've got a page with more information here:

(see the "My new dentures hurt and don't fit well" section)
Thank you so much!
No problem, best of luck with it ?
Ulcers should not be expected. That is evidence of a poor fit. There are things they can do to help alleviate the pain while you heal.

As for current ulcers,
Yes salt water rinses help. I also asked for a chlorhexidine rinse with some stubborn Aptos that wouldn't heal. They can do what's called a soft reline which sort of pads the denture to provide a cushion while you heal too.

For pain get a product called benzodent. It is a thick cream that will stay put with lidocaine in it. You can use it with your glue. I boughtine off Amazon.

Rinsing with milk of magnesia can help a little with the pain too, but I had super expensive stomach ulcer medicine from my GI doc. It's called Carafate and is specifically designed to heal mucosal tissue. I rinsed with that for pain instead since I already had it. I found it helped more than Milk of Mag personally.

Once you get open spots they are near impossible to resolve unless you go denture free. So hopefully you haven't gotten that far.

Good luck. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you SO much for answering me. From the time I posted my problems have gotten SO much worse. On the third week of wearing the new (first time) dentures, the pain was so bad that the side of my face was swollen with obvious infection at the very back top upper right (where your last tooth would be). I had told the dentist over and over and over again that there just wasn't any room there between that point and my lower tooth to fit any denture - but she said it would work (when of course it never would). I had one checkup and told the Ulcers were "normal" and that the pain was normal so basically I just had to "put up with it". But as I mention it obviously got infected and on the day I couldn't stand it anymore, the whole of New Zealand went into lockdown and I couldn't reach the dentist or their emergency phone line which asked for contact details but then just hung up. I found a doctor who was open and ordered antibiotics IMMEDIATELY, obviously at this stage I couldn't wear the denture. I was told by the doctor that it sounded like the infection had gotten to the bone and if that happened they would need to REMOVE part of my jaw. To say I was and still am horrified is an understatement. So far I've been on the antibiotics for nearly 1 week and the infection is going down (thank god). So I tried to put in the denture yesterday and it just fell out, over and over again, it just was way too large and fell straight out of my mouth (I am in despair at this stage) - so I looked at my dentists site and it had a new number to ring which I did. Obviously she wasn't working but she phoned me at home. The conversation was more of a debate and me venting than anything else. She told me ALL OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS NORMAL (what a load of rubbish) and that the dentures now won't fit because my jaw bone had shrunk and in TWO MONTHS I'd need a total realignment .. god knows what that means. I was furious with her and let her know it. She was going to charge me for the call but soon realized just how angry I was and changed her mind. So now I'm left with dentures I can't wear (for probably another 2 months) and a dentist who I no longer trust to pull a dogs tooth out. I told her that IF all this was normal she should sit down with patients BEFORE starting any work on dentures and run them through what to expect as this has been hell and every time things have happened it's been like a punch in the guts. I'm so angry about this I could scream. But I can't see "any" dentist because of the lockdown which probably will continue for at least a few more weeks. I have talked to others and NONE of this occurred with them expect for a couple of people who had minor ulcers. All this so stressful, I can't close my mouth, I can't eat hardly anything and .... well I'll leave it there as I'm nearly "off the edge" with all of this.
Yeah. Don't wear it for now. I haven't worn my bottoms since day three back in June!

A relignment is when they fill in the denture with more material and mold it to your mouth like when they did your impressions. It doesn't hurt. May induce a gag reflex, but once your ulcers heal should not hurt.

You will go back for religns multiple times. So much that dentists usually won't do a hard relign (final religns) until at least six months...many recommending closer to a year. It is the nature of healing from any trauma. Even surgical.

Other dentists will make a whole new denture instead of a hard relign. The first being called an immediate denture and the final a permanent denture. My first set were like this. My current denturist does a hard relign.

Once you are healed from the pressure sores then go back for a relign. Any time they feel painful or like they don't fit again go back. I went weekly at the beginning. Don't be afraid to push until it feels right.

But your mouth is going to change a lot over the next few months. Your gums may even swell on and off as they heal. It does get better. Just don't accept pain as normal. Discomfort as you get used to things sure. Pressure sores...no. That is a telltale sign of improper fit.

Good luck.
Thank you again for replying. I won't accept pain as normal now after all that you've said. My dentist is "supposed" to be one of the best in this country - what a joke. When I was on the phone to her (as we are under lockdown and I can't see her), she actually laughed at what the doctor had told me. if she doesn't fix this..... well lets just say her business will suffer. Thanks again. My problem seems pathetic due to the events that has happened in Afghanistan today.. I'm so sad over the loss of life. My god.