Know Your Options

How To Tell When Your Denture Is Worn Out

Many patients arrive at our office with broken dentures that have completely worn out and should have been replaced several years before.  When we look at a broken denture we look at the colour of the acrylic (which gives us an indication of the age of the denture; when a denture is getting older the acrylic can become brittle and break), the wear and tear on the teeth (if they are missing anatomy and are flat then the denture is worn out), also we examine tooth placement; if the teeth are not positioned directly over the centre of the ridge this causes stress on the denture (which can cause it to break).  At times a patient’s denture will put them in what’s called a locked occlusion preventing their lower jaw from properly moving in all directions.  These are just some of the things that we look at.  Since the posterior (back) teeth do all the grinding, they become worn out at a quicker rate then the anterior (front) teeth.

When a denture has one or several of the above this is an indication that the denture should be replaced.  If you continue to wear a denture that has met its life expectancy it can start to cause health problems such as digestive issues or jaw pain, neck aches, headaches, shoulder aches, or back pain just to name a few.  (You should not only get your dentures checked if experiencing these issues but also consult with your medical doctor.)

Are your Dentures Over 5 Years Old?

Too many people believe that dentures are good for 20 years.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Dentures are made of a hard, ridged material.  Your face, mouth and jaw, on the other hand, change over the years.  Because artificial teeth wear down with time, a denture cannot do its job effectively for more than about five years.  This reality can have devastating consequences that are often invisible and imperceptible to the wearer of a worn-out denture.

The effects suffered from worn-out dentures include:

  • Painful, irritated tissues
  • Difficulty chewing and poor digestion
  • Headaches, earaches, neck/TMJ pain
  • Sagging mouth, prematurely old face, pointed chin
  • Accelerated bone loss

…and this is only a partial list!

Dentures are not made to last forever and over time the acrylic becomes brittle and starts to break.

When should I see the Denturist?

Please take your time to answer the following questions, perhaps together with a close friend or family member who might be aware of your challenges.


  • Have you found yourself avoiding certain foods?
  • Do you feel pain in your jaw?
  • Are you noticing more wrinkles around your mouth, is your chin moving closer to your nose?
  • Does your mouth feel sore after wearing your dentures?
  • Do your dentures feel loose or unstable?
  • Is there any discoloration of the pink denture acrylic or teeth?
  • Have cracks formed behind the teeth or in the other areas of the denture?
  • Do you need to use poly grip to hold the dentures in?
  • Do you avoid presenting your true smile?
  • Are there cusps on the denture teeth or have they worn away?
  • Has it been more than 2 years since you had a reline?
  • Are your dentures more than 5 years old?
  • Have you lost any teeth since the denture or partial was made?


If your answer was “Yes” to any of the above questions call us for a free consultation