I’ve worn dentures for 16 years. It’s been a very uncomfortable experience for me. Within the past 3 months, they have started to fall out when I sneeze. This isn’t happening when I cough, but I can’t sneeze without them coming out. I’m learning to try hard to sneeze with my mouth closed, especially when I’m in public. Of course I’ve talked to my dentist about this and he keeps relining them. He also mentioned that I might need to get new ones. Could this be the problem if I’ve only had them for 2 years? I’m only 67 years old and there is longevity in my family. I’ll probably live another 15 years. Am I going to have to replace dentures every 2 years? – Thanks. Marlon
Marlon – We understand your concerns and the embarrassment that comes with dentures that fall out. Dr. LaVacca would need to examine them to determine why they are falling out, but there are several possibilities.
1. Jawbone Shrinkage
After many years of wearing dentures, jawbone shrinkage is the most common reason for them to loosen or fall out. When your teeth are missing, your body resorbs the bone. Generally, bone shrinkage begins within 18 months of tooth extraction, and it continues throughout your lifetime. Dentures that rest on your jawbone accelerate bone shrinkage. It becomes increasingly difficult to them in your mouth if there is not enough bone to support it.
2. Poorly Made Dentures
If cheap materials are used, or if shortcuts are taken in constructing them, they won’t fit well. It’s common to experience problems with bargain dentures.
3. Improper Fit
Impressions of your mouth are taken to make a denture base that fits securely in your mouth. If there was a mistake in making or lining them, they can easily slip off. A skilled dentist or prosthodontist will try in a model of the prosthesis to ensure it fits right before your final dentures are made.
4. Old Dentures
As they age, they won’t fit well. Usually, they need to be replaced every five to eight years. If your prosthesis is getting loose before that time, the age of it probably isn’t the cause of them falling out when you sneeze.
If your dentures have been damaged, exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold, or improperly stored, it can cause them to lose their shape and not fit correctly.
How to Prevent Dentures from Falling Out When You Sneeze
If you’ve worn dentures for 16 years, it’s likely that the problem is due to jawbone shrinkage. When your jawbone starts to shrink, even a new appliance will loosen with time. Replacing them every two years is not the answer. What can be done?
- As few as two dental implants can be used to stabilize your dentures and prevent them from falling out. The implants will lift them off your jawbone, stimulate the bone, and decrease shrinkage.
- Increase the number of dental implants, and you’ll have even more stability.
- We suggest that before you get new dentures, get a second opinion. Visit at least one skilled implant dentist or prosthodontist for an examination. The dentist will identify the issue and let you know your options.
Implant-supported dentures make it easier to eat, speak, and even sneeze without anxiety or embarrassment.
This post is sponsored by Naperville award-winning implant dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.