In order to get the best possible fit for your dentures , you need to remember to hold your tongue in the proper position. If your tongue isn’t in the right position, it can make your dentures fit poorly, especially the lower denture, which is the one most people have trouble with.

Normal vs. Retracted Tongue Position

Whether you use denture adhesive or not, most of the force holding your denture in place is actually suction, like a suction cup. In order to be able to maintain that suction, your denture has to fit properly over the tissues in your mouth. Your tongue is anchored on the bottom of your mouth, and depending on the position of your tongue, the shape of the bottom of your mouth changes.

When your tongue is held in the normal tongue position–the tip just behind the alveolar ridge (the bony structure that used to support your teeth) and the rest of the tongue along the roof of the mouth–the bottom of the mouth is in the proper shape for creating a seal with your dentures.

In a retracted tongue position, with the tongue pulled back in the mouth, the shape of the mouth won’t fit your dentures.

This leads to poor retention of your dentures–they tend to come out–but there is good news. If you can train yourself to hold your tongue in a normal tongue position, you can improve retention of your dentures by nearly 58%. Since retention refers to the ability for the denture to resist coming out of your mouth , that’s likely going to be a lot fewer lost dentures when you eat or talk.

Tongue Fidgeting

Sometimes people don’t just hold their tongue in the wrong place, they may fidget with their tongue. These people likely play with the lower denture, lifting it up, slipping the tongue underneath it, and even flip the denture up.

If you do this, you are breaking the seal under your dentures, which can lead to poorer retention. The best solution to this problem is just trying to control the habit.

Tongue Exercises Improve Control

Of course, it’s easy to say you should control your tongue, but for many of us, it’s just not that easy. The tongue is partly under conscious control, which means that it can do what you want, but often it’s just doing its own thing and you don’t influence it. But you can get greater control of your tongue if you try.

You can try talking in front of a mirror to get a better sense of how to control your tongue. There are also many exercises that you can do to specifically work on your tongue control.

Still Having Denture Fit Problems?

Sometimes, though, the problem with your denture fit may not just be your tongue. Instead, your dentures may just be poorly fitted altogether.

If you are tired of poorly fitting dentures, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.