False teeth, or dentures, can make it easier to chew your food and eat a wider variety of nutritious foods. They can also improve appearance if you have suffered tooth loss due to gum disease or other dental health problem. But people who wear dentures may also suffer from dry mouth, which can be uncomfortable and affect your health – though it's not necessarily caused by your dentures.
Dentures are a set of false teeth that are used to replace natural teeth that have been lost. You may need a complete set of false teeth, or a partial set if you've only lost some of your teeth. Dentures may be permanent, meaning that they're implanted or attached in the mouth and don't need to be affixed each day. Other dentures can be removed, and may be attached to the gums with adhesive for a better fit.
Dry Mouth and Dentures
Since dentures are merely replacing your mouth's natural set of teeth and some of the tissues that surround them, it's tough to get a completely perfect fit, says Cleveland Clinic. Your mouth and gums will change over time, making the dentures fit differently. But when you first wear your dentures, it's actually more likely that you'll experience too much saliva rather than dry mouth. Dentures that don't fit properly can also cause a condition called burning mouth syndrome, which the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says often occurs with dry mouth.
Other Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, known as xerostomia, can be caused by a number of different factors other than wearing dentures. Smoking or using tobacco products can dry out the mouth, says Mayoclinic.com. And taking many medications, as many older people do, can also cause dry mouth as a side effect. Damage to the nerves, being older in age and having another health problem -- such as diabetes -- can also cause dry mouth.
Problems With Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is more than uncomfortable -- it can actually pose risks to oral health, says Mayoclinic.com. If your mouth isn't producing as much saliva as it should, bacteria may grow rapidly and lead to tooth decay. Chewing, swallowing, tasting and digesting food also gets tougher when your mouth is too dry.
Coping With Dry Mouth
If you wear dentures, visit your dentist to make sure that they fit you properly. You can also check with your doctor to see if any of your medications are causing dry mouth as a side effect, and ask what can be done to manage it. Mayoclinic.com suggests sucking on a sugar-free hard candy, avoiding tobacco use and drinking water throughout the day as a few ways to help you moisten your mouth.