Dentures, also known as false teeth, are an important solution to tooth loss. They come in two different styles: partial (just a few teeth) and complete (replacing every tooth in the mouth).
As helpful as they are, dentures can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, especially in the beginning. At least 50 percent of all denture wearers experience problems.
When using dentures for the first time, you may experience issues such as pain and swelling in the gums, red sores on the gums under your dentures, white patches of yeast in the mouth, dry mouth, and gums that appear to grow over your dentures.
Common causes of these problems include the presence of bacteria in your mouth or on your dentures, ill-fitting or low-quality dentures, poor oral hygiene and eating hard foods that can cause cracks in the dentures.
It is true that dentures may not fit like a glove, but this does not mean you have to suffer from pain and discomfort. You can easily prevent and resolve denture discomforts with simple and easy home remedies and by maintaining oral hygiene.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for denture pain.
Salt provides immense relief to denture wearers during the adjustment phase. It helps reduce swelling and pain in the gums.
It also inhibits growth of bacteria in the mouth and reduces the risk of mouth sores or dry mouth.
- Remove your dentures and gently rub your gums with salt for a few seconds. Rinse it off with warm water. Do this once daily.
- Alternatively, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and use it to rinse your mouth. Do this twice daily until the swelling subsides.
Cloves are another excellent remedy for denture users who are suffering from gum pain. Eugenol, the main ingredient in clove, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Thus, it works as pain reliever and also helps disinfect your mouth.
- Grind a few cloves to get ½ teaspoon of the powder.
- Mix a few drops of olive oil in the ground cloves.
- Apply it around your sore gums.
- Wait 5 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily until you can wear your dentures without discomfort.
3. Black Tea Bags
To successfully reduce gum pain caused by dentures, use a black tea bag.
Black tea is full of tannic acid, an astringent that helps reduce pain as well as swelling of the gums. Tannic acid also repels bad bacteria.
- Steep a black tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and set it aside to cool off.
- Hold it on the affected gum area for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
- Repeat once or twice daily for a few days.
Do not eat or drink anything except water before and during this treatment.
To reduce gum pain, you can use turmeric for its pain-relieving properties. The compound curcumin in turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation of the gums.
It can even prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Make a paste of ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a few drops of water.
- Apply the paste on the painful gums.
- Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then gently massage the gums for a couple of minutes.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Use this home treatment twice daily for at least a week.
5. Aloe Vera
Another effective remedy to get rid of denture pain is aloe vera. The herb has anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties that can restrict the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, soothe inflamed gums and reduce gum pain.
- Slit open an aloe vera leaf with a knife and extract the gel. Blend it. Using a cotton ball, apply it directly on the painful gums. Wait 10 minutes before rinsing your mouth with cool water. Avoid eating anything for 1 hour. Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times daily until the pain is gone.
- If you have dry mouth symptoms, drink ¼ cup of aloe vera juice daily. To make the juice blend 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with a cup of water or citrus juice like that of orange.
6. Massage Your Gums
To reduce gum swelling, gently massaging the gums will help a lot. Massage encourages blood circulation, which reduces swelling as well as pain. For massaging the gums, you can use olive oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Rub some olive oil directly on your gums.
- Use your index finger to gently massage your gums for a few minutes.
- Wait another 5 minutes, then rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until you get relief from the pain.
7. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an age-old practice that supports oral health by removing harmful bacteria from your mouth. It helps keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth, a common problem among denture users. It evens helps eliminate bad breath and reduce gum swelling.
- Put 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed vegetable oil like sesame oil in your mouth. Make sure not to wear your dentures while doing this.
- Swish it around your mouth thoroughly for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Repeat the process daily, in the morning before eating anything.
You can also do oil pulling with extra-virgin coconut oil.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.
Irritated or inflamed gums due to dentures can also be treated with sage. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce gum pain and swelling.
This antimicrobial herb is also toxic to harmful organisms that cause bad breath and impact your oral health.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of dried sage in 1 cup of water. Strain and allow it to cool. Use the water to gargle 2 times daily until the swelling and pain are gone.
- Also, chew a few fresh sage leaves 2 or 3 times a day to help ease pain and reduce gum swelling.
A popular holistic remedy for denture pain is figs. Figs help treat mouth sores associated with wearing dentures. The several nutrients in this fruit also help reduce pain and swelling.
- Cut a fresh fig in half.
- Put one half between your cheek and the sore gums. Keep the inner part of the fig toward the gums.
- Keep it in place for some time.
- Spit out the fig and rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily until the pain is gone.
10. Maintain Proper Hygiene of Your Mouth and Dentures
To prevent bacteria from residing on your dentures, you must clean them regularly. Proper care will help keep them clean, free from stains and looking their best.
At the same time, even if you use false teeth, you need to maintain oral hygiene to prevent pain and swelling of the gums. Oral hygiene will also reduce bad breath.
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean your dentures, tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth twice daily.
- Always remove your false teeth at night.
- Soak your dentures overnight in water, a denture cleaner or a diluted vinegar solution to loosen debris. Rinse your dentures with water before putting them back in your mouth.
- Whenever possible, remove your dentures after eating and rinse under running water.
- If your dentures do not fit properly in your mouth, consult your dentist.
- If you have trouble speaking after using your dentures for several weeks, consult your dentist.
- Handle your dentures carefully and avoid bending the clasps.
- Eat soft foods during the first few weeks of wearing dentures. You can try soft foods like stews, pasta, vegetable soups, applesauce, pudding and yogurt.
- Make sure you chew your food slowly and thoroughly to reduce gum discomfort.
- Avoid raw, sticky and crunchy foods that can irritate sore gums.
- During the initial weeks of wearing dentures, you may experience decreased saliva production. Suck on a lozenge to increase.
- Do not use any bleaching products, as they can damage dentures. Avoid using toothpicks as well.
- Never use hot or boiling water to clean your dentures as it can distort the shape.
- Have your dentures checked yearly. They typically need to be replaced after a few years of use.