Having a beautiful set of teeth after drug addiction

Dried Out Denture Woes: Why Dry Spells Doom for Dentures

by Danielle Fletcher

If you wear a partial or full denture, your dentist has no doubt already explained to you the importance of responsible denture maintenance. In general, dentures last from 5 to 8 years. However, unlike natural teeth, which you can clean and then forget about for a while, dentures need to be stored sensibly when not in your mouth.

Misplaced or forgotten dentures will dry out if not found and placed into water as soon as possible.

Dentures Were Designed to Be Wet

The most common material used to create a denture base, the pink material the teeth are embedded in, is acrylic, also known as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). During the creation of your dentures, the acrylic base is pre-wetted.

This means that water is added to the material during denture creation to ensure that the dentures don't warp or change shape due to water absorption. When worn and in constant contact with saliva, or when being soaked, dentures are in their element.

Dry Dentures Become Warped and Brittle

It is extremely important that new denture wearers get used to storing their dentures in water when they are not wearing them. Leaving dentures out on the side, for example, while you go to bed or relax in front of the TV for a few hours, will dry them out. The longer dentures are left in a dry state, the more likely it is that they will become warped.

Over time, the water molecules contained within the acrylic base evaporate. The drier a denture becomes, the more deformed it will become. A 2016 study that was published in the Journal of Advanced Prosthodontics proved that dry storage of dentures causes them to warp, while wet storage does not lead to any significant changes.

Dried Out Dentures No Longer Fit

Once a denture loses the water molecules that were added to it during its creation, it becomes brittle and easily damaged. Dry dentures will also no longer fit as comfortably as they once did. If you accidentally leave your dentures out of water for a prolonged period, do not attempt to wear them. You will only succeed in irritating your gums, possibly causing infection.

Instead, take them for denture repairs as soon as possible. If the dentures are not too badly warped, repair may be possible. However, in cases where the dentures are badly warped, you may need to get a replacement, after which you'll know the importance of proper storage!