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A 44-year-old female asked:

Having a full denture upper for 3 yrs, it's suddenly feeling kind of larger than it was to the point where i have to use adhesive.do gums change sizes?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Klugman
Dentistry 47 years experience
Yes: Your bone will continue to shrink your whole life, but it shrinks the most just after the teeth are removed. Your body interprets the fact that you don't have teeth as you don't need bone. You can expect to periodically need to have the denture relined and then replaced.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 41 years experience
Absolutely: Bone volume shrinks over time due to the missing teeth. It's easily remedied by having the denture relined. Speak to your dentist. Wearing an ill fitting denture can accelerate the lost of bone, so it's better to have a well fitting denture than using gobs of adhesive. All the best...
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 55 years experience
Bone resorbtion: When teeth are lost, the supporting bone tends to resorb (shrink) over time. A poor fitting denture or an imbalanced occlusion (bite) hastens the process. See your dentist to have your soft tissues, bones, gums, bite and denture evaluated. Too many patients think that just because they have no teeth they do not need to see a dentist regularly. NOT TRUE.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 37 years experience
Of course: The bones and gums in your mouth change over time, but the size of the denture stays the same. Denture relining is an important part of denture maintenance every few years.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Nov 6, 2014

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