Dentures can have a hugely positive impact on the life of someone who has lost some or all of their teeth; in addition to offering certain aesthetic benefits, they can also make everyday activities such as eating and speaking much easier. However, it can take a little while to get used to wearing them. Here are a couple of the issues you may encounter after having had dentures fitted and some tips on how to handle these problems.

Pain and discomfort

It is quite common for people to experience some soreness and irritation when they first start to wear dentures. There are a number of reasons for this. First, dentures are designed in such a way that they are supported by the cheek and tongue muscles; initially, this may lead to some aching and tenderness, particularly around the jawline. However your muscles will usually adapt quite quickly, and this achiness should not last more than a few days.

Another potential source of discomfort can arise from a mistake often made by novice denture-wearers; namely, keeping their dentures in 24 hours a day. This can result in the gums becoming irritated and inflamed.  Most dentists recommend that you remove your dentures before going to sleep each night, as this gives your gum tissue time to recover from the pressure placed on them throughout the day.

Finally, persistent, mild irritation can be caused by food getting stuck beneath your dentures. This should be dealt with quickly, as trapped particles of food can eventually lead to your jaw and gums becoming inflamed and possibly infected. If you experience this issue, simply take out your dentures and rinse them thoroughly with a dental cleaning solution.

Difficulties with eating and speaking

Eating can be somewhat challenging during the first week or so after you start wearing dentures; sticky or chewy foods can be especially problematic. This is why it is best to only eat foods with soft textures during this adjustment period; things like yoghurt, soup, mashed potato and eggs are all good options.

It may take some time for you to get used to chewing; because of this, you should try to eat as slowly as possible and make a conscious effort to use both the left and right sides of your mouth simultaneously when eating (this will help to stabilise your dentures).

You might also experience some difficulties when trying to speak, as your tongue will not be in the same position that it was prior to having your dentures fitted. When talking, you may find that you unintentionally make whistling or hissing noises. If you feel a bit self-conscious about this, it's worth spending a bit of time each day reading a book or newspaper out loud to yourself, so as to speed up the process of learning how to speak clearly with your dentures in.