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Updated on November 6, 2023
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Denture Pain Causes & Treatment

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Key Takeaways

  • Dentures biting into your gum tissue commonly occurs when your mouth is just getting used to your new set
  • Denture pain can be caused by an ill-fitting set or by an infection
  • You can try some home remedies to treat denture pain before visiting your dentist
  • If your denture pain persists, it's best to visit your dentist so they can identify its cause
  • If a professional adjustment doesn’t ease your denture pain, you may need a new set entirely

Best Ways to Treat Denture Pain

If the pain persists after making the changes mentioned in this article, talk to your dentist for a professional opinion. 

Home Remedies for Denture Sores

Before going back to your dentist, here are a few things you can try during the adjustment period:

  • Eat soft foods and avoid hard or sticky foods
  • Practice good oral hygiene to avoid tartar and plaque
  • Remove your dentures before bed
  • Cut up harder foods into small pieces and chew with your back teeth
  • Use a topical anesthetic that contains benzocaine
  • Use warm salt water rinses to remove food particles and bacteria
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication
  • Soak your dentures overnight in mild denture cleaner or water
  • Apply aloe vera to the gum line to stimulate saliva production and provide relief

Professional Treatments

If you’re experiencing denture pain, visiting your dentist is the best option. They can determine the cause and treat any underlying issues.

There are many different ways dentists can modify dentures, which include:

  • Adjusting high spots on a denture with a drill
  • Placing a soft reline material on the inside of the denture
  • Sending the denture back to the laboratory for a denture rebase
  • Completely remaking the denture

Why Are My Dentures Cutting Into My Gums?

As mentioned above, most people develop sore or sensitive gums when they start wearing dentures. It takes time to adjust to them. 

However, persistent sore gums can be a sign of ill-fitting dentures. The dentures might be cutting into your gum tissue, especially if the pain worsens with time, and professional adjustments will be necessary. 

It's best to schedule an appointment with a dentist so they can address the problem. Professional adjustments can help prevent denture sores from occurring.

Other Causes of Denture Sores

Aside from ill-fitting dentures, common causes of sore gums from dentures include:

Food Particles

Food particles can get trapped between your dentures and gum tissue, leading to irritation, pain, and discomfort. Cleaning your dentures properly helps remove food particles before bacteria and plaque accumulation occurs. 

Bacterial Buildup

Bacteria in your mouth mix with food particles to create plaque. Bacteria and plaque buildup can cause major oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay.

In addition to preventing sore gums, practicing good oral hygiene will help you avoid other dental issues.

Denture Stomatitis

Commonly called oral thrush, denture stomatitis is a fungal infection in the mouth. Thrush is caused by candida overgrowth, and the telltale signs are red, inflamed gums and mouth sores.

Like the above two causes, good oral hygiene goes a long way in preventing denture stomatitis. Avoiding wearing your dentures overnight will also reduce your risk. 

Signs Your Dentures Need Adjustments or Repairs

Some signs you need denture adjustments include:

Broken Teeth

You can accidentally break an artificial tooth by dropping or putting too much pressure on your dentures. 

If you break a denture tooth, don’t attempt to reattach it yourself. Take your dentures to the dentist for professional repair.

Chips or Cracks

You may notice chips, pitting, or cracks on your dentures. You should have your dentist fill in these defects so they don’t become more significant over time.

Difficulty Chewing

Because your mouth changes over time, the alignment of your dentures can change, making it difficult to chew. 

Discomfort

Talk to your dentist if you experience sore spots, uneven pressure, or other uncomfortable symptoms. They will check for oral health problems and adjust your dentures if needed.

Facial Shape Changes

Your dentures keep your cheeks looking full and even, just like natural teeth. If you observe any changes in your cheeks’ or jawline’s appearance, your dentures likely need adjustments.

Ill-fitting Denture

If your dentures fit poorly or if the fit changes suddenly, they likely need an adjustment to reduce the pain or discomfort. 

Here’s how they should fit:

  • Top dentures should fit well due to suction to the roof of the mouth
  • Bottom dentures should float above the gums
  • Partial dentures should stay in line with the natural teeth without significant movement

Pressure Sores

Dentures that don’t fit properly can cause pressure sores. Pressure sores develop when the dentures put more pressure on specific areas of the gums. 

If a pressure sore develops, it is a good indicator that your dentures need to be adjusted.

Gum Irritation

Symptoms of gum irritation include:

  • Raw spots
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding

You can prevent gum irritation by maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine. Visit your dentist for evaluation and denture adjustments as needed.

Oral Sores

Dentures can exacerbate some oral conditions, including mouth sores. You might develop infections like candidiasis or oral thrush if you don’t maintain adequate oral health while wearing dentures.

Stains or Odors

After extended use, dentures can develop stains or odors. To prevent stains or odors, practice proper denture care.

If you notice any discoloration or smell, schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can inspect the dentures for any defects or replace them if necessary. Some dental offices use special ultrasonic equipment to deep clean dentures.

Speech Changes

When you start wearing new dentures, you might experience speech changes, including slurring and/or lisping. 

These issues should disappear as you become used to the dentures. However, if they return or you experience any other speech changes, professional adjustments will help.

What Do Denture Sores Look Like?

Denture sores usually appear as red or white areas of swollen gum tissue. The sores can make it painful to chew and swallow, and severe sores can make it difficult to speak.

How to Prevent Sore Gums From Dentures

To prevent sore gums, practice adequate denture care and remove your dentures before going to sleep. These minor adjustments will reduce bacteria in your mouth, which can cause sore gums and other issues. 

Some tips to keep your dentures clean include:

  • Rinsing your dentures with warm water after meals
  • Using a denture-cleaning solution
  • Brushing your dentures daily with a denture brush and mild soap

Different Types of Dentures

Dentures are artificial replacements for missing teeth. They’re designed to fill out your facial profile and improve your appearance. Dentures also make it easier to eat, chew, and speak.

There are different types of dentures available, including:

removable denture NewMouth

It’s normal to experience mild discomfort and gum soreness when you first start wearing dentures. Fortunately, there are things you can do to heal denture sores and prevent them from returning.

Common Questions About Denture Pain

Can I adjust my dentures myself?

No. Adjusting your dentures at home can break them. Call your dentist to adjust your dentures professionally if they don’t fit properly.

What is the fastest way to heal denture sores?

Warm salt water rinses can quickly and effectively relieve pain caused by mouth sores, including denture sores.

How long do mouth sores from dentures last?

Denture sores typically go away after a week or two. Call your dentist if a denture sore lasts longer or causes severe pain.

What helps pain after immediate dentures?

It’s common to experience sore gums after getting immediate dentures. You can relieve this by rubbing aloe vera on your gums and taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication like ibuprofen. 

Why are my dentures rubbing my gums?

Dentures rubbing gums is a sign of poorly fitting dentures. Talk to your dentist about getting an adjustment. Without treatment, the rubbing can lead to denture sores.

Last updated on November 6, 2023
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on November 6, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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  2. Dentures.” National Library of Medicine, 2018.
  3. Mohsin, et al. “Aloe vera for Dry Mouth Denture Patients - Palliative Therapy.” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 2017.
  4. Removable Partial Dentures.” American Dental Association, nd.
  5. Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth.” NIH National Institute on Aging, 2020.
  6. Santiago, et al. "Evaluation of masticatory function, satisfaction, and quality of life among users of complete dentures relined with resilient materials - A systematic review." The International Journal of Prosthodontics, 2022.
  7. Ibraheem, EM. and ElGabry, HS. "Effect of mandibular complete dentures relining on occlusal force distribution using T-scan system." Bulletin of the National Research Centre, 2021.
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