More often than I would desire, I hear from my patients that they use the denture adhesive in excessive amounts and on occasions more frequent than I would consider necessary. When I ask why, the reasons seem various. In 99% of the cases, a properly fitted upper denture does not need the adhesive to maintain good retention in the patient’s mouth. I strongly encourage my patients to try to master using their dentures without the adhesive.
The lower denture usually presents more challenge in terms of retention, as it has much less tissue to adhere to, it is floating in the pool of saliva, and the tongue inside it is trying to dislodge it with every move. The trick is to train the tongue to secure the denture and not to dislodge it. It takes practice and patience, but it is possible. While eating, placing the smaller chunks of food and chewing on both sides at the same time is most important to maintain denture balance and retention.
So, when to consider the denture adhesive?
1. when you go swimming (the water getting into your mouth can dislodge the denture),
2. when you go riding on the motorcycle or in the convertible car (the gust of air getting into the mouth can dislodge the denture),
3. when you go skydiving,
4. when using the denture is too difficult to master (especially the lower one), even if it was fitted properly.
But... if the denture falls out without warning… it’s time for a reline.