Hi, I have had full dentures for about 34 years, four front teeth left in my lower jaw. I had no trouble with my original dentures until they finally broke. In 34 years my gums shrunk a bit . The new lower denture is about the same size as the original and the upper (full) denture has been built up a lot to make up for the gum shrinkage. I have been for a couple of adjustments but the upper denture seems to fill my mouth and keeps pinching my tongue at the back and I'm aware of it in my mouth all the time. Painful !Is it O.K. and normal for all the 'build up' to be carried out on half the dentures.Can I complain? Hope I have explained the problem.RegardsChad Morritt
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 67
Waiting for five months for things to settle down
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!It is not surprising that you would be aware of the dentures all the time, even if they were properly contoured. Having lived with your previous dentures for so long, and change-- even if it is objectively viewed as an improvement-- will be perceived as a dramatic departure from your accustomed denture shape. Also, as a result of the shrinkage of the gum tissue over the years, your so-called "vertical dimension"-- the distance between your upper and lower jaws-- would have gradually diminished, and your dentist would have intentionally restored the lost facial height. An increase in vertical dimension will likewise place additional demands on your powers of accommodation. Therefore, some work is required on your part to adjust to the new dentures, although I will concede that five months is longer than average adjustment period.I will also agree on the point that a compensation for gum shrinkage should be made where the gum shrinkage took place-- if the top gums have shrunk, it should be the denture base of the upper denture that is modified; if it is the gums on the lower jaw, the lower denture should be modified. Having said that, the upper denture is often favored as the location where compensations for lost vertical dimension are made, because the upper denture can absorb more denture height without compromising its stability due to its superior retention as compared with the lower denture. Therefore, your dentist is not necessarily deviating from accepted practice here.That does not mean that your dentist doesn't need to work more on your denture. The pinching you are feeling is due to the posterior edge of both dentures pinching your soft tissues, and either the length of the denture bases or the thickness of those back edges must be reduced to eliminate impingement on the tissues so that injury is prevented when biting.Hope this helps...
35 years experience, member Academy of General Dentistry