I’ve had dentures for a year or so now, but recently the corners of my mouth have started hurting and cracking. Is this because of my dentures or is something else going on? It’s hurting every time I open my mouth now. I’m scared to tell my daughter because she keeps trying to put me in a home because she thinks I can’t care for myself but I can.
I’m very sorry you’re going through this. You shouldn’t have to be afraid to talk to your daughter. You also shouldn’t have to be in pain every time you open your mouth. It seems to me that you are suffering from a condition known as Angular Cheilitis. There are quite a few things which can cause it. However, because it started after you got dentures, that’s what I want you to get checked first. Ill-fitting dentures cause lots of problems, including this issue.
If that’s not the problem, here are some other common reasons for this to occur:
- Vitamin deficiencies such as in riboflavin, iron, or zinc
- Licking the corners of your mouth
- Malnutrition, such as from anorexia or bulimia
- Severely dry skin
- Protein deficiency
An important Consideration With Dentures
One thing to consider is the length of time you’ll be wearing dentures. They have a dangerous side effect after wearing them for a few years. As soon as your teeth were removed, your body reabsorbs the minerals normally used by your jawbone to support your teeth roots. But, recognizing you no longer have those teeth your body shares those minerals where it determines they’ll be more useful. While efficient for your body, it does have the unfortunate result of shrinking your jawbone. Eventually, you won’t have enough jawbone left to keep your denture in place, essentially making you a denture cripple. This is known as facial collapse.
Your dentist should have warned you about this before you made a decision on your tooth replacement, along with your other options. Truthfully, dentists are ethically bound to give you all your options so hopefully, you had an ethical dentist.
On the off-chance your dentist was lazy that day, let me tell you about one of your options which will completely protect you from facial collapse. Dental implants place prosthetic roots into your jawbone which function the way the roots of your teeth used to. This helps your body recognize your jaw is still a necessary part of your body.
When you have your dentist check the fit of your dentures because of the sores in the corners of your mouth, ask him whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants.
This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.