How to Tell That Your Partial Dentures May Need to Be Replaced

DenturesMany people incorrectly believe that partial dentures last a lifetime. The truth is that most dentures last from five to ten years. A number of individual factors determine the actual time dentures will last. The shape of your facial muscles, jawbone and the gum tissue in your mouth gradually changes as you get older, but your prosthesis does not. Dentures consist of a rigid material that cannot adapt to the physical changes your body goes through, and will eventually become loose and unstable.

An ill-fitting denture can have some very negative consequences. It can cause the jawbone to shrink more rapidly and negatively affect the ability to eat, chew, bite, and speak. Additionally, both the artificial teeth themselves and the base of the denture can become worn and stained over time. The appearance, comfort, and overall health are compromised the longer a patient delays replacing the dental prosthesis.

Important Reasons To Replace Your Partial Dentures

Partial Denture Plastics

In some cases, the reason for replacing a denture may have to do with the denture itself, not with how the facial muscles or jaw has changed over time. The materials used to manufacture modern dentures are quite durable, however, after years of constant use, dentures do deteriorate to the point where they are aesthetically unpleasant. Over an extended period of time, the pink, plastic base of a denture will lose its natural appearance, texture and coloration, making the dentures appear quite artificial when compared with the rest of the real teeth. Overly worn dentures can also become contaminated, and lead to irritations, infections, odors and a bad taste in the mouth.


Ill-fitting dentures can inhibit a person's ability to chew. If your current, partial denture is preventing you from eating foods that are essential to maintaining a healthy diet, it and can lead to malnutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and a compromised immune system.


Many people who wear dentures are not aware that acrylic denture bases are porous and, as they age, can harbor bacteria, causing infections such as denture induced stomatitis, which is a yeast infection. If untreated, the condition can cause irritation, redness, and soreness in the mouth. Additionally, if the denture does not sit well on the gum ridges, it can cause an abnormal increase in the number of cells causing the gums to swell.

Facial Features

Bone loss in the jaw and gums shrinking with age can cause the lower part of the jaw to become misaligned with the upper part of the jaw. This can affect the facial muscles around the mouth and cause them to sag. This sagging leads to deep wrinkles and a sunken look to the lower face and cheeks.

Common Signs That Indicate Your Partial Dentures May Need To Be Replaced

  • A Dull Pain Around The Ears or Neck, Frequent Headaches
  • Problems Speaking, Slurred Speech
  • Dentures That Move When You Chew or Speak
  • A Clicking, Snapping Or Whistling Noise When Chewing
  • Swelling Of The Gums And Surrounding Areas
  • Dentures That Are Damaged, Chipped Or Cracked

Dentures that look, function and fit properly not only instill a sense of confidence for the wearer, but also greatly benefits a person's general health. Come into our office and our experienced staff will take x-rays and impressions of your mouth and jaw in order to craft a new partial denture that is just right for you.

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