Signs of Poorly Fitting Dentures

Dentures provide millions of people with the ability to eat and speak normally and help restore a  more youthful appearance — which can do wonders for your self-confidence. Unfortunately, dentures don’t always fit as they should. They can sometimes warp or otherwise change in a way that causes them to fit poorly, and this can be uncomfortable, impair proper chewing ability, and lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Poorly fitting dentures should be seen by your dentist as soon as possible.

Poor-fitting dentures are one of the most common complaints made by denture wearers, but it is usually easily amended. Your dentist can assist you in adjusting or repairing your dentures to ensure proper fit, but how do you know if your dentures are fitting well? If you experience any of the following, your dentures may no longer fit properly and should be examined by your dentist.

Dentures Slip

Dentures should remain fixed and stationary at all times. If they slip or fall out when you talk, eat, cough, or sneeze, or if you find yourself frequently readjusting them while they’re in your mouth, this is likely an indicator of poor-fitting dentures. This is perhaps the most commonly experienced symptom of a denture in need of attention and may be the most obvious.

Denture Sores

Dentures should always fit securely without shifting around inside the mouth. Sometimes slipping dentures aren’t as obvious as you might think. Even though you may not notice a loose-fitting denture itself, they will commonly leave sores or other irritation on the gum tissue that sits under a denture plate. If you find you have small spots of inflammation or sores where your dentures are rubbing against your gums, your dentures likely no longer fit properly.

Denture Pain

Dentures slipping against your gums can cause sores, and these can be quite uncomfortable — but poor-fitting dentures can be painful well before sores even appear. This pain can stop you from eating or talking normally and should be addressed as soon as possible. The pain you feel in your gums can be the result of your dentures slipping and irritating the gum tissue or dentures that are too tight or possibly shifting as you exert pressure when you bite down. This can cause pain when you bite down or talk and is a sure sign of a poorly fitting denture.

Trouble Eating

Though many denture wearers find they can eat almost all the food they were able to with their natural teeth, dentures that no longer fit well can cause significant problems. If you have any trouble eating foods that you usually enjoy and which should be easy to eat, your dentures likely need adjustment and should be examined by your dentist.

Hard-to-Clean Dentures

When cleaning your dentures, pay special attention to where you see food residue. This should ordinarily be mainly on the outside surfaces of your denture, and any new or increased evidence of use on the inside surfaces will require additional effort when cleaning. Dentures that have gotten more difficult or take longer to clean are likely not fitting properly and should be seen by your dentist.

Denture-Related Infections

If your dentures don’t fit properly, this can allow food particles to collect under the denture, which can lead to the accumulation of bacteria. This bacteria can cause various kinds of infections in the tissues of the gum, which can appear red and swollen everywhere they come into contact with the dentures. This can be quite uncomfortable as well, and if left uncorrected, can lead to more serious concerns.


New denture wearers may not know what a properly fitting denture feels like, but even seasoned denture wearers may not notice small changes in fit. Any problems such as those described above are signs of a denture that isn’t fitting properly and should be addressed by your dentist as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about how your dentures are fitting or would like to have them examined for any potential problems, contact your dentist today for more assistance.