What Happens When Your Dentures Dry Out?

What Happens When Your Dentures Dry Out

When dentures dry out, it may cause pain and discomfort. The material that dentures are made out of requires constant moisture in order to keep them comfortable to wear each day. See below care tips for keeping dentures in the best possible shape.

How Do Dentures Dry Out?

Your dentist will provide a set of care tips when you first get your dentures. If you do not adhere to these instructions, it may cause dentures to dry out. For example, if you leave your dentures in over the course of several days, or if you do not soak the dentures in water overnight, they may become dry.

Best Ways to Store Dentures to Avoid Drying

Be sure to store dentures in a glass of room temperature water overnight to avoid drying. Keep the glass in a place that it will not be easily disturbed to avoid accidental breakage. It is also important to ensure that dentures are thoroughly cleaned before they are stored for the night. If they are not cleaned sufficiently, it may cause buildup on the dentures themselves, or infections of the mouth when they are re-worn.

Best Ways to Re-moisten Dentures

The best way to care for your dentures is to not let them dry out in the first place. This includes the typical care that your dentist suggests, which consists of closely following instructions and keeping dentures stored in water overnight to avoid drying. If the dentures have only been out for a few hours, they can simply be placed back in the mouth following cleaning. The saliva in your mouth will re-moisten the dentures.

However, if your dentures do dry out, the best way to re-moisten them is first to clean them to prevent damage by rinsing them in warm water and using a soft toothbrush to avoid scratching (scratched dentures may hold plaque and cause mouth infections). Once the dentures are clean, let them soak for 24-48 hours to retain moisture. Be sure that the water is room temperature. If you are concerned about water quality from your tap, use filtered or distilled water to soak the dentures.

It is suggested that if the dentures have been warped, that you do not use hot water to try to re-shape the dentures. You may further damage the dentures and render them unusable. Instead, consult your dentist for the next steps.

Risks of Letting Dentures Remain Dry

Dry dentures not only will become uncomfortable for wear, but they will also become brittle and have the potential to break or shatter. If the dentures are brittle and were to fall (into the sink or onto the floor), they are much more likely to break completely. Since dentures are expensive, they require frequent care. Dentures are structured with very small holes that are not visible to the eye, and the holes need to stay moist to maintain the structure of the dentures.

Do I Need To See My Dentist if My Dentures Are Dried Out?

Before scheduling an appointment with your dentist, you may try the care tips listed above to see if the dentures return to their origins moistened state. If the tips do not work, or if the dentures are warped as a result of being dried out, you may call your dentist to ask for further instruction or to see if you need to make an appointment. It is best to take precautions to prevent damaging the dentures, as it is a long and expensive process to have them replaced.

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