Formerly Nancy Tomkins and Associates

Why Does My Denture Keep Breaking? … and other denture hazards.

At Nancy Tomkins Implant & Denture Clinic we see all kinds of denture breakage requiring urgent repair. The denture portion that breaks most frequently is the pink portion replacing the natural gums, this is called denture acrylic. Over time the acrylic may have weakened and is less able to stand up to the stresses of mastication (chewing).

As the acrylic weakens the denture microscopically flexes more with each chew and eventually the acrylic gives way to the forces, causing the denture to crack or break in half.

We advise you not clean or soak your dentures in bleach or household cleaners. They are not made for dentures and will weaken the acrylic faster, causing breaks. There are several quality denture cleaners on the market that do not harm the denture material.

If your denture is ill-fitting these stresses are magnified as the denture flexes more than a wellfitting denture. An ill-fitting denture is often the result of jawbone shrinkage (atrophy) and the denture becomes loose.

Loose dentures can often be relined to ‘refit’ your denture to the changes in your mouth caused by atrophy and other age related changes. Some people have an extremely strong bite and/or an unfavourable bite relationship (class II/III) and their denture(s) are susceptible to breaking more frequently.

Could I use super glue to fix my denture(s)?

The short answer is NO, never! There is no glue on the market that is safe to use in your mouth. Many people have used this material in an emergency and often cause further damage to the denture and their oral tissues. The Material Safety Data Sheet for these types of glue state that the glue may cause irritation to skin, lungs, throat and nose.

We have an on-site fully equipped denture laboratory and repairs are often done within a few hours.

Some other reasons that dentures need repairing may come as a surprise to you.

Man’s best friend.

Some of the most interesting denture repairs are due to our four legged furry family members. Yes, believe it or not dogs love to chew dentures. This occurs when their owners do not place them into a denture bath to keep them safe and moist.

They leave them on the night stand or coffee table where their dog is attracted to scent and thinks it is a chew treat. This may not only be a costly repair or replacement, it could lead to a veterinary emergency. Do not leave a denture within reach of your pooch.

Lost and Found. There is a high incidence of lost dentures in hospitals and nursing homes. We are able to permanently place your name in the denture(s) so if they are lost they will be returned to you. Every hospital and nursing home has a box full of unclaimed dentures, eye glasses and hearing aids with no names on them. For a little peace of mind, have your dentures labelled to avoid this inconvenience and expense. Name(s) can be permanently placed in dentures at the time of fabrication or anytime after.

Check before you flush! Many dentures have been forever lost down the toilet when a person has vomited and hits the ‘send button’ before checking if they still have a full smile. There are some precautions to take to avoid this very costly oversight; check your mouth before you flush.

Although very difficult to do, try to remove your denture(s) before you vomit. Preferably use a bowl/pail or sink instead of the toilet where you can retrieve your denture should it happen to dislodge during vomiting.

Murphy’s Law – your denture will break just before a big event or holiday (or on your holiday many kilometers away). It now becomes a time crunch to find someone to repair or replace it quickly. It is a good idea to keep your previous denture handy or have a spare made, just in case of such an emergency.

Travel Tip – as you would with a spare pair of spectacles or car keys, always pack your previous/ spare denture(s) when you are a long way from home, you will be glad you did!

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