Are Denture Adhesives Actually Necessary?

Denture Patient Biting Apple

When a denture is first inserted into the mouth of a patient, there is a very thin space between the denture base’s hard plastic and the soft gum tissue of the mouth. Ideally, saliva fills this gap and creates a strong friction that grips the dentures to the gum tissue ridge. But this doesn’t always continue to work over time.

This microscopic gap that is supposed to fill with saliva gets larger over time as the gum tissue changes and the underlying jawbone shrinks. The larger space means less of a grip and dentures that are unstable and don’t stay attached to the ridge as well. This is especially noticeable and prominent in the lower jaw where the tongue is more likely to dislodge a denture.

The purpose of denture adhesive is to fill in that gap and hold dentures in place. The idea is that the sticking of the denture base to the gum tissue improves the suction and makes the dentures stay in better. There are many types of denture adhesive, but most people like thin pastes better than powdered products which are harder to apply correctly and precisely.

But denture adhesives aren’t a good long-term solution to an ill-fitted denture. Really, these products just create a false sense of security about dentures that need to be relines or completely replaced. Plus, these messy products actually make removing dentures frustrating and more difficult than it really should be.

Those who use denture adhesive must clean the product off the dentures thoroughly at least once a day to maintain the life of the dentures and prevent odors and a buildup of the product and bacteria.

People often turn to denture adhesive because it’s cheaper than a more permanent solution, but the cost of the product can add up over time. Today’s narrow implants can be installed to improve denture retention and stabilization and forever eliminate the need for adhesives. Could thin implants be the right choice for you? If so, visit for more about implant supported dentures.

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