What is denture adhesive?
A little explainer is needed here. Denture adhesive and denture glue are the same thing. Whether a paste, pad/strip or powder, they are designed to keep dentures (otherwise known as false teeth), snug in your mouth.
How do I know if I need denture glue?
It’s common when first adjusting to wearing dentures, to feel a little insecure. Will they fall out when I’m talking? Will they become loose when I’m eating and make me gag? Or, horror! What if they fall out when I’m mid belly-laugh or swimming?
All are natural concerns. Generally speaking though, you shouldn’t need denture glue if your dentures are well-made and correctly fitted. If, heaven forbid, any of the above scenarios become a reality and send you scuttling red-faced for the exit, then it’s time to have a chat with your dental prosthetist.
Alternatives to denture adhesive
Think about why you feel the need to use a denture adhesive. There may be a better way to gain confidence in your full denture or partial denture. If your denture is loose, there are other options to address this. Have a chat with your dental prosthetist. Perhaps a simple adjustment, or even a ‘denture reline’ which is a restoration of the fitting surface, can restore the snug fit.
Like everything, dentures have a lifespan. Changes in your mouth may result in your denture not fitting as well as it should. Supporting bone and gum tissues recede and change over time. Discussing your concerns with your dental prosthetist at regular check-ups can avoid many problems before they impact on your life.
There is a place for the temporary use of denture glue
If you’ve recently had teeth extracted and a denture fitted immediately afterward (immediate denture), you may need to use a denture adhesive for a limited time until your mouth adjusts. It’s normal to experience accelerated gum recession in the 12 months immediately following tooth extraction. As a result of this shrinkage, suction on the upper denture can be reduced and instability in the lower denture may occur. Denture glue will hold the dentures firmly in place, thereby reducing the need for repeated denture relines while gum recession is in progress.
What kind of denture adhesive is best?
There are many different kinds of denture adhesive on the market. One only has to ask (discreetly of course), what kind people prefer, to be given a barrage of different answers. Everyone has their favourites. Each form of denture adhesive, whether pastes, powders or pads, has its advantages and disadvantages.
Asking this question in our Facebook support group, Denture Support Australia, can be helpful as denture wearers can offer their own experiences with each brand.
You’ve heard the old adage: when in doubt read the instructions. It can make all the difference to how effective denture glue can be, whichever one you choose. Denture paste applied too thickly can change your bite causing discomfort and uneven wear. Pre-cut pads are expensive and must be precision trimmed to fit your denture in order to be comfortable. Although easy to wash up at night, powders need preparation and careful application to be effective. Add to this, concerns about the zinc content in denture adhesive products. While we all need zinc for our bodies to function, too much may be harmful. Your dental prosthetist can help guide you in your choice.
Tips for using denture glue
- Firstly, be persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a good relationship between you and your dentures be achieved overnight.
- Be prepared to experiment to get the best results for you. By all means, ask other denture wearers what works for them but realise everyone is different.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully if you want the best results. More of anything is not always better. This applies as much to denture adhesive as it does to ice cream. Using more denture adhesive than suggested doesn’t relate to an increased grip and may contribute to unpleasant oozing.
- Once you’ve applied the denture adhesive, take time to seat your dentures securely in place by pressing firmly with your hands or clenching your jaw. Experiment to find out what works best for you.
- Practise good denture hygiene. Denture glue will adhere better if your dentures are clean. An added bonus of clean dentures will be the absence of bad breath. Remove all denture glue by brushing your dentures each night. Gently massage your gums and roof of your mouth with a soft brush. Then rinse with water.
- While most denture adhesives are designed to last all day, it’s okay to reapply the adhesive when you need it: before eating more challenging foods, for example. Or if you feel they are becoming loose.
How do I remove my dentures after glue?
There are products available for dissolving denture glue. However, before you spend any money, try the following procedure which many denture wearers have found equally effective. Firstly, swish your mouth out with warm (not hot) water. Remove your lower denture by pulling gently while rocking back and forth to break the seal. Upper dentures can be a little trickier due to their great surface area. By putting your thumb on the front teeth then pressing out and upward, the denture should come free. Remember, practice makes perfect. What seems difficult when your dentures are new, will become second nature the longer you have them.
How do I remove denture glue from my mouth and gums?
Advice varies on how to remove denture glue from gums. Some advocate using a mouthwash, but this isn’t really necessary. We suggest you simply use an exfoliating shower glove (Target Australia $2). Dampen the glove with warm (not hot) water, then using your thumb and index finger, gently run the glove over your lower gums. Repeat the process on the upper gums by using your thumb and index fingers to remove the glue from the roof of your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with warm water prior to using the glove is also effective. This method is not recommended if you've recently had extractions. The use of a soft brush with warm water can help when gums are still healing.
If using powder as an adhesive, wipe dentures clean with a soft moist cloth and then rinse as suggested above – easy!
Disclaimer – Always consult your oral health professional for expert advice about your unique personal situation. The information given here is of a general nature and for the purpose of education only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your oral health specialist
Northern Rivers Denture Clinic is located in the heart of Tweed Heads, southern Gold Coast. Finally have the smile you deserve with handcrafted, quality dentures.