Notice a whistling sound when you speak? Are you having a hard time pronouncing certain words? A denture that no longer fits optimally can cause a variety of challenges to an individual’s speech caused by denture movement that can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. But why does a denture’s fit affect speech, and what can be done to alleviate issues so that a denture functions well and a person’s confidence and speech are restored?
What Causes Changes To A Denture’s Fit?
As we age, the shape and size of our mouth’s change due to shrinking bone ridges and thickness of gum tissue. These oral changes are a normal and expected response when natural teeth are no longer present. Changes to a person’s mouth happen gradually, but can start to impact the fit of a denture once tissues have experienced mild to moderate remodelling. As bone and gum levels recede, a denture becomes loose and may feel too large for the mouth. A person may start to develop sores due to the appliance rubbing on delicate gum tissue. Unfortunately, the material that a denture is made from doesn’t shrink along with a person’s mouth, so in time there can be a discrepancy in size and fit, resulting in movement and comfort that prevents a person from speaking effectively and confidently.
Can The Fit of A Denture Be Improved?
Regular maintenance of a denture not only ensures that it remains in good condition, but provides an opportunity for a denturist to evaluate the fit and comfort of the appliance. Denturists expect a denture to need adjustments and relines over the life of the appliance, so they encourage patients to book a maintenance appointment to check the health of the denture and oral tissues. After mild oral tissue changes, the fit and performance of a denture can benefit greatly from a reline, which provides shock absorption and a tighter fit. This enables a denture to stay in place during functional movements like eating and speaking. Having a denture that fits securely can quickly improve a person’s speech.
Does A New Denture Sometimes Have To Be Made?
After significant weight loss, illness or injury to the mouth, a new denture may be recommended, as changes to gum and bone prevent an existing denture from fitting correctly. Having a new denture made not only improves a person’s ability to speak clearly, but restores comfort to the mouth as issues such as appliance friction due to movement are resolved.