We understand that if you’ve had the experience of your dentures breaking, you want to make sure they don’t break again. You might think the best way to do this is to upgrade your dentures to the hardest dentures available. And with modern technology, that is certainly an option. Modern dentures can be made using zirconia, the material used in metal-free dental implants. This is stronger than titanium, and it can be made to look passably like natural teeth.

senior man contemplating his thoughts

But it’s important to remember that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Sometimes it’s smarter to take a different approach to helping your dentures avoid breaking.

Why Dentures Break

If your dentures break in your mouth (as opposed to being dropped, run over by a car, etc.), it’s likely due to imbalanced forces.

The most common type of imbalanced force that leads to denture breaking is called fulcruming. In this situation, the dentures are like a teeter-totter that is raised in the middle and lower on the sides. It can rock back and forth when force is applied to one side or the other, but when force is applied to both sides, the denture gets stressed and can break.

Other times, it can just be an excess of bite force in one particular spot that causes the dental implants to break.

Two Approaches to Dealing with Bite Force

If dentures are breaking because they’re being subjected to too much force or imbalanced force, there are two approaches to addressing the problem. One approach is to strengthen the dentures so that they can withstand the forces. This can work, but it may lead to other problems, as we’ll discuss later.

But the other approach to these bite forces is to try to balance or reduce them. Often, excess bite force and fulcruming are due to poorly fitted dentures. Improving the fit of the dentures can make it so your dentures won’t break anymore, and may have other benefits, too.

Can Dentures Be Too Strong?

Whenever your bite is imbalanced or is excessively forceful, the softest element in the bite chain will take the brunt of the damage. With traditional dentures, that’s typically your gums. Your gums aren’t capable of supporting full bite force, so they will likely suffer the worst, causing serious denture pain. And strengthening your dentures will only make this worse.

To attempt to avoid this problem, you can move to implant supported dentures. These don’t put force on your gums. The force from your bite goes from the denture to the implants to your bone. So, where’s the weakest spot in this chain? It wouldn’t be the denture, it can withstand up to 160,000 pounds per square inch. And it won’t be the dental implant, which is nearly as strong. It will likely be the bone, which is only one-fifth the strength of the denture. This can lead to bone irritation, bone loss, and, possibly, failure of the implant and the denture. Other possible places where the system can suffer is the jaw joint, which can be damaged, especially the cushioning disk in the joint, which is only 1/40th the strength of the denture.

Benefits of Balanced Forces

There’s nothing wrong with getting stronger dentures, but you also want to consider making sure you balance the forces in your bite with an optimal fit. This will not only protect your dentures from breaking, it can reduce the risk of irritation and injury.In particular, it can help you avoid TMJ-related symptoms that can plague denture wearers.

And, more than that, ensuring the proper fit helps dentures give you a more youthful appearance. It is the superb fit that gives FOY® Dentures their rejuvenating power.

If you are looking to enjoy the benefits of superb denture fit, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a Columbia, SC denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.