Robert F. Hawke, DDS
Most people who wear dentures for a long time are eventually confronted with a frustrating and embarrassing problem: loose dentures. What may have been a functional dental appliance, with a dependable fit, starts to slide, click and feel uncomfortable.
Loose dentures, particularly those worn on the lower gumline, are a common problem and bone loss is the culprit. That is because when teeth are missing, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from the tooth roots, which causes bone to deteriorate. Now the jawbone is changing shape and unable to provide the support that dentures need to stay in place.
Loose dentures are usually more of a problem on the lower gums where the tongue is constantly pushing against them. Upper dentures in adults tend to be more stable because they have an artificial palate that covers the roof of the mouth, which creates suction to keep them in place.