Can dentures be fitted to receding gums?

This question is crucial for those experiencing gum recession, a common dental issue affecting many. Learn more about the possibilities & steps to be taken for the best outcome.

What causes receding gums?

Gum recession is a prevalent dental condition where the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth's root. This process can be gradual, often going unnoticed until sensitivity or tooth appearance changes become evident. 

Several factors contribute to gum recession, including:

  • Aggressive brushing, which can wear away the gum line over time. 

  • Periodontal diseases, which are infections of the structures around the teeth. These infections destroy gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. 

  • Genetic predisposition.

  • Hormonal changes, especially in women.

  • Misaligned teeth.

  • Tobacco usage.

Understanding these causes is the first step in addressing and adapting dentures for individuals with receding gums.

Can you have dentures with receding gums? 

Dentures may be an option depending on the extent of the recession in the patient. Fitting dentures for someone with receding gums involves several key steps, each crucial for ensuring comfort and functionality:

  • The process begins with a thorough dental examination, including an assessment of the gums' condition and extent of recession. 

  • Impressions of the mouth are then taken to create a precise mould for the dentures. This step is particularly important for receding gums, as the mould must accurately capture the altered contours of the gum line. 

  • The next step involves selecting the appropriate denture type, material, and teeth appearance, tailored to the individual's needs and preferences. 

  • Trial fittings are conducted to fine-tune the fit and aesthetics, ensuring the dentures feel natural and comfortable. 

  • Finally, once the dentures are ready, the patient is given instructions on care and maintenance, including the importance of regular dental visits for adjustments as the gum and bone structure may continue to change over time.

What does the ideal fit look like for dentures?

The ideal fit for dentures on receding gums is crucial for comfort and functionality. A well-fitting denture should snugly contour the gums and jawbone, ensuring stability and minimal movement during eating or speaking. For those with receding gums, this fit becomes more challenging but not impossible. 

It requires meticulous measurements and often a customized approach to accommodate the changing gum line. The denture base should provide an even distribution of pressure across the gums, reducing irritation and sore spots. 

Additionally, the aesthetics, such as the colour and shape of the teeth, play a vital role in recreating a natural-looking smile. Regular adjustments and check-ups are necessary to adapt to ongoing changes in the gum and bone structure, ensuring the denture remains a perfect fit over time.

Alternatives for patients with receded gums 

For individuals with receded gums, dental implants offer a viable alternative to traditional dentures. While receding gums can pose a challenge, advancements in dental technology have made it possible to place implants successfully. The key lies in the detailed assessment of the jawbone quality and quantity, as implants require sufficient bone to anchor securely. If required, this procedure involves augmenting the jawbone to provide a stable foundation for the implant. 

Dental implants provide several benefits, such as preventing further bone loss, offering a more natural appearance, and improving chewing efficiency. However, it's crucial to maintain excellent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups to ensure the long-term success of the implants.

Dental implants or dentures: which is the better option?

Deciding between dental implants and dentures for receded gums depends on several factors, including oral health status, budget, and personal preferences. Dental implants are often seen as a more permanent solution, offering stability and a natural feel. They can also help preserve the jawbone and prevent further recession. However, implants are more expensive and involve a surgical procedure, which might not be suitable for everyone. 

On the other hand, dentures are less invasive and more cost-effective. Modern dentures are can be functional and aesthetically pleasing, though they may require adjustments and replacements over time. 

Consulting with a dental professional is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each option based on your specific situation.

Does gum recession increase the risk of tooth loss? 

Gum recession increases the risk of tooth loss due to the exposure of the more vulnerable parts of the teeth. As gums recede, the tooth's root becomes exposed, which is not covered by enamel and is more prone to decay. 

Additionally, receding gums can lead to the breakdown of the supporting tissue and bone structure of the teeth, weakening their stability. This process can gradually lead to tooth loosening and, eventually, loss. 

Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and addressing any underlying causes of gum recession are vital in preventing these severe outcomes.

Frequently asked questions

Are there specific types of dentures recommended for receding gums?

Yes, there are specific types of dentures that may be more suitable for individuals with receding gums. Soft-lined dentures, which have a softer material on the part that contacts the gums, can be more comfortable for those with sensitive or receding gums. 

Additionally, flexible dentures, made from a thin, flexible material, can adapt better to the changing contours of the mouth due to gum recession. It's essential to consult with a dental professional to determine the most appropriate type based on individual needs and gum condition.

Is the process of getting dentures painful for someone with receding gums?

The process of getting dentures should not be painful, even for someone with receding gums. However, some discomfort is possible, especially during initial fittings. If there's significant gum recession, special care is taken to ensure that the impressions and fittings do not cause undue discomfort. 

Dentists often use topical anesthetics to minimize any pain during the impression process. Once fitted properly, dentures should not cause pain, although a period of adjustment is normal.

How can I ensure my dentures fit well if I have receding gums?

To ensure your dentures fit well with receding gums, it's crucial to have regular dental check-ups. Your dentist will monitor the fit and make adjustments as needed. Keep them informed about any discomfort or changes in fit. Also, follow their instructions on denture care, as proper maintenance can affect fit. If you notice changes in your gums or the fit of your dentures, schedule an appointment for a reevaluation.

Do receding gums continue to recede after getting dentures?

Gum recession can continue even after getting dentures, especially if the underlying causes are not addressed. Factors like gum disease, poor oral hygiene, or ill-fitting dentures can contribute to ongoing recession. 

It's important to maintain good oral hygiene, have regular dental check-ups, and ensure your dentures fit correctly to slow or prevent further recession.

Can adjusting to dentures be harder with receding gums?

Adjusting to dentures can be slightly more challenging with receding gums, primarily due to the sensitivity and changing contours of the gums. However, with proper fitting and gradual adaptation, these challenges can be managed. It's important to follow the guidance of your dentist and communicate any discomfort or difficulties during the adjustment period.

Are there any special care instructions for dentures on receding gums?

For those with receding gums, special care for dentures is essential. Daily cleaning with a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive cleaner is necessary to maintain oral hygiene. It's also important to soak the dentures overnight in a denture-cleaning solution to keep them hygienic and maintain their shape. Avoid using hot water for cleaning as it can cause the dentures to warp. When inserting or removing the dentures, do so gently to prevent irritation of the sensitive gum areas.