3 challenges with new partial dentures… and how to overcome them.

January 15, 2020

You’rethinking about getting dentures and you’ve been told partial dentures would be a good option for you. They are a comfortable and convenient option for tooth replacement if you have partial tooth loss. As with most things “new” some people experience a bit of initial discomfort, especially if you’re a first time wearer.


We are going to talk about 3 challenges that new wearers tend to experience and how to overcome them relatively quickly, so you experience freedom, function and a full mouth you’re proud to show off.


There have been definite advancements as technology improves and dentures aren’t the old chunky, prohibitive chicklets of the past. Both full and partial dentures have become progressively more convenient, comfortable and natural looking. That said,clients who pop new partial dentures in for the first time can experience challenges for the first few weeks. You’ll need some time (and a dose of patience) to get used to this new foreign prosthetic that’s taken up residence in your mouth. Some challenges that initially present themselves can be:

⁃                  Trouble speaking

⁃                  Difficulties eating particular foods

⁃                  Blisters and sores in your mouth

⁃                  An altered sense of taste



The hurdles and how to conquer them.


As we said,partial dentures are an unfamiliar and foreign object that have taken up residency in your mouth so obviously it will take some time and know-how to get used to them. There is a period of adjustment and in our experience, the following 3 adjustments are the most common. Let’s explain and give you some advice on how to live with your new normal.


1.               Trouble Speaking

This is the number one obstacle we see at our clinic but it’s also the one that resolves itself the quickest.There is a period of acclimation but your speech issues will go away once you’ve gotten used to your new partial denture.


You might experience:

Full mouth: when you get your new partial denture it might feel like you have a mouth full of new teeth. This will show itself in your speech as you make the occasional blunder or a word comes out convoluted. 

Lisp: Where you once had no teeth you now have a new mouth full of them.Dentures regardless if they’re full or partial, take up a lot of room in your mouth which in turn creates more saliva. This increased saliva can result in lisping.

Whistling sounds: Your new dentures aren’t going to be in the precise,exact location where your natural teeth lived. The front teeth specifically tend to be positioned differently and this alters where and how your tongue works. Until you learn to maneuver with your new mouth and until your tongue figures out which position is best, you might hear a slight whistling sound when you talk.

How to combat this:

As with any of the challenges accompanying new dentures, given time you’ll start to feel more natural and your speech will return to normal. Until then you can practice your speech by reading out loud, paying attention to the articulation of each word and repeating the words that are giving you trouble.



2.               Taste Buds and Sensation Change

Right after dentures are placed,we’ve had some clients say they have a decrease or a change in their sense of taste. In the immediate short-term, sometimes this happens. Once you get usedto your new dentures, this problem should resolve itself and your taste buds will be back to normal.


We’re asked a lot why taste buds change after receiving dentures. Some reasons include:

- Too much or an overuse of denture adhesive, which overpowers everything and alters your sense of taste.

- Now food has a place to stick and the debris stuck on your dentures can contribute to an undesirable taste.

- Your tastes buds are now regularly bumping up against your dentures which initially can make it taste like plastic mixed in with your food. This will go away over time.

- If you have an upper denture placed, sometimes it can cover your hard palate (the area that contains a lot of taste buds) which can change the taste of your food.


How to combat this:

This challenge will go away over time as excess adhesive dissolves and you get used to the maintenance and hygiene involved with your new dentures. Make sure you keep your partial’s clean and at least in the beginning, visit us to regularly to make sure your dentures are properly fitted and working properly. If the problem persists and you can’t seem to solve it, come see us and we’ll talk alternatives, other courses of action and maybe even look at dental implants as an option.





3.               Difficulty Chewing and Eating


As we’ve discussed there’s a learning curve involved with dentures, regardless if you are getting a partial or full set. You have to enter into this knowing you’ll need patience and it will take some practice. You’re re-learning how to use your mouth again. The basics are the same but there will be some fine-tuning.Some initial challenges might be:

- Food getting stuck and collecting in your dentures.

- Your dentures dislocate when you’re chewing and eating.

- New dentures can sometimes cause blisters and sores in your mouth which makes it harder to eat.

- You’re going to produce more saliva which affects eating.


How to combat this:

This will be part of something we’ll discuss while you’re undergoing treatment but after your dentures have been placed you need to start eating slowly and choose soft foods. Ones that are easy to eat and not putting stress on your dentures or your tender mouth. This is only in the beginning while your dentures are still settling. Until you’re comfortable eating solid foods again you might want to:


- Stay away from hard and sticky foods.

- Evenly distribute your food and your chewing throughout your mouth; evenly on both sides and both the front and back of your mouth.

- Before you swallow makes sure you’ve chewed slowly and meticulously.

- Talk to us about denture adhesives and what options exist for you.

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