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Why Do Dentures Get Bigger Over the Years

I’ve had dentures for quite a few years now and it seems like the longer I have them the bigger they get. Do dentures stretch out? If so, is there a way to get them back to their original size?

Sandee B.

Dear Sandee,

illustration of facial collapse using the profile of a woman before and after

It’s not your denture that is stretching. In reality, as frightening as it may sound, it is your jawbone that is shrinking. When your teeth were removed, your body recognized that. In its efforts to be as efficient as possible with its resources, it begins to resorb the minerals from your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body.

This has the unfortunate side-effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse.

Hopefully, your dentist warned you about this when you went to get dentures.

The Solution to Facial Collapse

When you have a tooth replacement option that more closely mimics your natural teeth, like dental implants, it protects you from the danger of facial collapse. The reason for this is the prosthetic roots that come with implants. Your body recognizes the implants as you still having your teeth.

This doesn’t do you much good after you’ve already lost your jawbone though. Fortunately, there is a solution for that as well. You can have a bone grafting procedure done which will replace the lost bone. Then you will have a way to retain dental implants for implant overdentures—Keeping you from having the same problem all over again.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.