For almost anything you might be willing to try, there’re people offering DIY kits. But just because there’s a kit available, it doesn’t mean it’s something you should try. That is definitely true when it comes to relining (refitting) your dentures.
It’s normal for denture fit to change over time, and they do need to be refitted to perform optimally, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should do at home. In fact, there are many good reasons not to.
You Could Harm Your Bite
You should always be wary of attempting any home remedy related to health equipment. Although the denture itself is just a piece of plastic, it interacts with a number of important components of your bite system, such as your muscles and jaw joint. A poorly adjusted denture could cause damage to the jaw joint or increase strain in the jaw muscles.This is not a benign problem: it could lead to symptoms like recurring headaches and may contribute to the destruction of the jaw joint, which you should be especially concerned about if you’re already developing arthritis there.
You Could Make It Hard to Chew
Suppose you avoid causing damage to your jaw joint. You may still find it’s much harder to chew with your poorly aligned dentures. Getting an optimal fit for your dentures to maximize your ability to chew is a complex problem, and if you get it wrong you may find that you’re not able to enjoy the foods you used to.
You Could Ruin Your Dentures
Dentures are vulnerable to many kinds of damage from home relining kits. The chemicals in the kit are generally safe for use on dentures–they’re often the same thing denture dentists use–but they can be damaging in some cases. A poorly done relining can also cause damage to your dentures. Uneven forces on your dentures can cause them to break.
The Chemicals Are Unpleasant
When you are doing impressions at home, you will be using what is known as a direct impression method–you are biting directly into the plastic that will be forming the new lining of the denture. Not only will you have to hold your bite still while the chemical sets up, the smell, taste, and texture of the chemical can be repulsive.
You Could Impact Your Appearance
And if you don’t happen to get a good, flat fit for your relined dentures, you will find that your appearance is very much changed. An off-kilter jaw or an off-kilter smile is a dead giveaway that you have dentures, and it can dramatically affect your facial appearance as well. Poorly fitting dentures can lead to witch's chin and other cosmetic conditions.
It’s Temporary at Best
One thing they don’t often tell you about the relining kits sold in stores is that they’re just soft relining kits that give only a very short-term solution. The refit from these kits may last just a few months, and then you’ll be back where you started, unless you happened to damage your dentures or jaw, and then you’ll be much worse off.
You Might Need New Dentures
Finally, relining your dentures might not be the right step. It may be that your current dentures are so worn that a reline isn’t really going to help–you need replacement dentures. Your dentures may be so worn that they are ineffective at chewing, so damaged that they can’t support your jaw, or so discolored that they are very unattractive. You might not have noticed because they’re comfortable and the changes have been gradual, but a dentist will tell you when your dentures have reached that point.
If you are tempted to reline your dentures at home, we encourage you to at least talk to a denture dentist first. In Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment at Smile Columbia Dentistry.