My Top Denture is GAGGING me! My Uppers are loose!

Hopefully, your top denture is comfortable, beautiful, and you can chew with it. Fortunately, due to the “soft palate/hard palate interface” upper dentures can often have “suction”. Lower dentures must contend with a moving tongue and usually do not have the kind of suction possible with upper dentures…. although this is not universal. While problems with bottom dentures are more common, top dentures can also be frustrating!

Top dentures or “uppers” can be problematic for many reasons – here are some of the more common reasons:

  • the denture goes too far back or does not go back far enough
  • the palate of the denture is too thick
  • there was not “palatal seal” placed or it is inadequate
  • the denture pushes too hard on the major muscle attachments
  • there are no grooves for the “mini” tissue attachments
  • the thickness of the sides of the denture is incorrect
  • the denture edges are too thick, too thin, too short, or too long
  • the back and/or the front denture teeth are not placed at the ideal level causing the denture to get loose when chewing or talking
  • missing back teeth on the bottom/too heavy biting on front teeth
  • tissues were compressed too much/too little during impression
  • the bone in the very back is bulbous and interferes with fit
  • inadequate time was spent at the delivery phase

If you are having trouble, try to provide your dentist with some specific insights into what makes the upper denture come loose. For example, does it come loose only when you smile? Only when you chew? Only when you say certain words? Or….. is it always loose???

It is important to realize that looseness can be caused by multiple factors all contributing to the problem. Many looseness problems cannot be corrected by a simple immediate reline. Relines generally work best when a denture was made well, has fit satisfactorily in the past, but has recently begun to get loose. If the denture is too long or pushes too hard on muscle attachments – a reline will NOT solve the problem.

Take a moment to Google “denture complaints”. You can read the common denture problems people experience and be better prepared for specific questions for your dentist. If you think the price of the dentures are “too good to be true” ask more questions! Quality dentures are not “cheap” but they can indeed be quite affordable.

And remember – at Geriatric Dental Group in San Antonio – we have denture solutions for even the most difficult situations!

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