From blisters and sores to infections and battered self-esteem, ill-fitting dentures are causing health problems across the UK. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Thousands of people grin and bear ill-fitting dentures, unaware of the problems they could be storing up for themselves.
According to NHS Choices, poorly fitting or worn out false teeth can cause discomfort and lead to mouth sores, infections or problems eating and speaking. And that’s just in the short term.
Caroline Kirkpatrick, director at OTS Dental, said the most common problem caused by ill-fitting dentures causes was low self-esteem.
“If someone feels they can’t smile, it really affects their confidence and that can have a massive impact on everyday life. They can feel uneasy when meeting new people or starting a new job or activity,” she said
Most people get their dentures from their dentist, but OTS Dental is one of a growing breed of clinic/laboratory hybrid that works directly with patients to provide bespoke, perfectly fitting dentures.
“I’d say that 90 per cent of the patients I see who say their dentures do not fit well say thought they had no choice, that they get what they are given,” said Caroline, who also carries out clinical treatment at her Meadowbank Denture clinic.
“Gone are the days when you had to grin and bear dentures that made you slur your speech feel ashamed to smile.
“One of the most rewarding things we do is give people their confidence back. Seeing them have that boost is just amazing. They hold themselves differently, and you see them regain their smile.”
The first symptoms of ill-fitting dentures could be swelling, blisters and sores, but in the longer term, fungal and bacterial infections can develop, leading to pain and confidence-killing bad breath.
If the problem is allowed to continue, the constant irritation and inflammation can aggravate the gums leading to gum and jaw recession.
Gastric ulcers can also develop, as the stomach has to produce more acid to digest food not chewed properly before swallowing.
Those with ill-fitting dentures tend to use more adhesive to compensate for the movement — and as many of these products are high in zinc, this can result in numbness and nerves pain.
Caroline said all of these health issues had a significant impact on quality of life and chipped away at self-esteem.
“It doesn’t have to be that way any longer. Ill-fitting dentures are really easy to fix — and everyone can have a lovely smile.”
To find out about the services available at OTS Dental laboratory, call the Denture Clinic on 0131 341 2581 or go to www.otsdental.co.uk