What Is a Denture Reline and Why Are They Necessary?

Posted on: 16 November 2016

The base of your denture rests directly on the gums, no matter the type of denture that you wear. The tissue that it rests on is called the edentulous ridge, and your denture needs to fit along it securely in order to remain comfortable and effective.

Unfortunately, the gum tissue will change over time, shrinking because it no longer needs to support the roots of lost teeth. The shrinkage will mostly occur in the first couple of months after your teeth have been lost, but it's a process that will continue indefinitely. As shrinkage becomes more significant, you will find that the denture no longer fits perfectly against your edentulous ridge, so it becomes necessary for the denture to be relined.

Vital for effective denture use

As you might imagine, the most obvious reason to have your dentures relined is that loosely fitted ones can be a real problem. If you put off the relining process, you make it more likely that your denture will come loose. Additionally, you will probably start to find it harder to chew tough food and even to speak. Food can get caught between the denture and the gum, causing significant discomfort, and you're likely to start experiencing pain when the denture rubs uncomfortably against the ridge.

Helps your gums recover

Other problems associated with wearing dentures can be made worse when they don't fit properly. Since the structure of your mouth and the surrounding teeth won't be supported so thoroughly, the surrounding gum tissue will be placed under added strain. The lack of pressure across other parts of the mouth will put you at risk of greater bone reabsorption, something that could eventually inhibit your ability to wear dentures at all; mouth infections are also more likely if your denture doesn't fit well, creating redness and soreness across the gums.

Saves you time and money

The relining process is not a very expensive one; usually a resin will just be applied to slightly change the line of the denture for an ideal fit. Getting this done as soon as possible means that you're less likely to need to have the entire set of dentures replaced. This will prove far more costly and inconvenient than simply having the existing dentures relined when you notice a problem.

If you wear dentures, you need to be watchful for signs that they might need relining, and see your dentist regularly so they can check whether any changes are needed.

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