Dentures are a lifeline for many people who have suffered tooth loss. They allow eating, talking, and emoting normally without fear or embarrassment. However, when these important prosthetics don’t sit correctly in your mouth, or if they fall into disrepair, they may hurt you in more ways than one.
A meta-analysis—or a study of multiple studies—of the link between dentures that don’t fit correctly and a deadly disease reveals a surprising result. Continue reading to learn more on this study and signs to look for that might indicate your dentures aren’t in good working order.
The Link Between Ill-Fitting Dentures and Oral Cancer
The meta-analysis conducted by researchers Sangee Manoharan, Vinayak Nagaraja, and Guy D. Eslick was published by the National Library of Medicine. It looked at several studies that have tried to link denture use with oral cancer. Taking the studies one at a time, the conclusion was that there is no link between the factors each study looked at.
However, when considered in a group via the meta-analysis, the overall study revealed that denture use in general showed a slight increase in the risk of oral cancer while people who used ill-fitting dentures were nearly four times more likely to develop the disease.
The analysis also revealed that people who used alcohol and tobacco products were among those with the highest risk.
Fixing Dentures in Disrepair
The findings of the analysis may be troubling, but there are steps you can take to avoid increasing your risk. The first is to maintain the function of your dentures at all times, especially if they break or don’t fit correctly.
If you find that you’re unable to chew easily or you notice jaw soreness, uneven pressure, or other discomfort, make an appointment with your dentist right away. They will be able to repair your dentures or refer you to a specialist who can.
Other Signs to Look For
Staying vigilant and noting any unusual activity that has occurred in your dentures is essential to maintaining your oral health. Here are some more signs that your prosthetic may need to be checked by your dentist:
- Pressure sores can develop on your gums if your dentures aren’t sitting in your mouth correctly. This will cause them to rub in one area of your mouth more than the others, wearing away at the tissue until a sore spot remains behind.
- The fit of your dentures may suddenly change. Your upper dentures should fit snugly against your gums, while the lower dentures should rest comfortably without slipping. Partial dentures should align smoothly with your natural teeth, maintaining stability. If this changes, take them to be repaired by your dentist.
- If you feel irritation or soreness in the corners of your mouth or notice that you need to wipe away excess saliva in that area often, you may be developing angular cheilitis which can result from a misaligned bite.
The proper fit of your dentures is paramount for your well-being. Regular check-ups with your dentist can help ensure their comfort and functionality and ensure that oral cancer is identified as early as possible, so don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance if you ever encounter issues with your dentures.
About the Practice
Dr. David M. Fisher Jr. has been working for his patients at David M. Fisher, Jr. DDS for over 20 years, offering friendly and comfortable dental care using the latest technology. Dr. Fisher attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning his dental doctorate while simultaneously doing rotations in oral surgery and special care/geriatric dentistry. To schedule a denture consultation, call (336) 288-1242 or visit the website for more information.