Partial Denture Pain – How to Help Relieve Sore Gums

 

It’s normal to experience discomfort with partials, especially in the first few weeks of wearing them. Your partials may feel awkward or bulky as you get used to them. You may also experience sore spots as your gums and mouth as you adjust to the new partial denture. If your partial puts too much pressure on a certain area, it may become sore and painful.i  

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer with sore gums in silence, and there are some simple things you can do that can help to relieve partial denture pain. Make sure you consult with your dental professional to figure out relief that’s right for you.

What Causes Partial Denture Sore Spots?

Discomfort and pain from partials is most often caused by an ill-fitting partial denture. Ill-fitting partials can irritate the mouth, cause sore spots, and increase the risk of infections.ii While your partials may feel bulky or uncomfortable at first, they shouldn't be painful as you adjust. If they are, make sure to talk to your dentist about fixing them.ii Any tooth procedures you had recently before getting partials can also cause pain as it heals.

Even if you’ve been living with partial dentures for a while, they can become uncomfortable over time as your mouth structure naturally changes. The bone and gum ridges may get smaller or recede, making your normally comfortable partials painful. Getting an adjustment from your dentist should help fix this problem.iii

Treating Partial Denture Discomfort and Sore Gums

Here are a few tips to help alleviate sore gums, discomfort, and sore spots.

Watch What You Eat

Following the directions from your dental professional, stick to soft foods while you get used to eating and drinking with new partials. There’s no need to puree all your food; just opt for soft, easy-to-chew foods such as pasta, scrambled eggs, yogurt, and soup. Avoid acidic foods that could irritate any wounds in your gums while they are still healing.iv

You should also chew on both sides of your mouth to keep even pressure on both sides to avoid stressing your partials. Avoid extremely sticky or hard foods, which could get stuck to your partials and potentially cause pain or discomfort.v

Clean Partials Thoroughly

It’s important to keep your mouth and partials clean to prevent further oral health problems. This is also why you should use a denture cleanser.

Remove your partials to brush them thoroughly at least once a day or as often as your dentist recommends. Removing your partials can give sore spots a chance to heal if you have any. It is also essential for getting rid of food particles and plaque that can irritate the gums and natural teeth further if allowed to build up on your partials. Before brushing your partials, give them a quick rinse to remove any loose food particles. Then, use a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush your partial dentures, using a separate soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching their surface.i

It’s also important that you clean your mouth properly, as well as your partials. Gently brush your gums, teeth, and tongue to remove plaque. This will help to reduce chances of oral irritation.i Be thorough when brushing and flossing your natural teeth to maintain good oral health. Always follow directions and protocols from your dental professional.

Talk to Your Dentist

If your partials are causing you pain or discomfort, reach out to your dental professional for advice. They can examine your teeth and gums and see what's causing the problem. If your partials need an adjustment, dentists can do this or advise a different schedule for daily wear.

Blonde woman experiencing pain in mouth

Salt Rinse

If you’ve just had a tooth extraction, try a salt rinse to promote gum healing. Remove your partials, add between ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, and rinse your mouth for 15 to 30 seconds before spitting the solution out.iv, v Check with your dental professional before trying any home remedies.

Pain-Relief Medication

If partial denture pain persists, take an over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (which has anti-inflammatory properties).v Always consult with your dental professional for the most appropriate pain-relief medications you should take.

Remove Partials Overnight

To help relieve sore gums and sore spots, take your partials out while you sleep. This gives your gums a chance to rest from the pressure of wearing partials all day and makes sure your partials stay clean and hygienic. Leaving your partials  to soak overnight in water and a Polident® denture cleanser such as Polident® partial denture cleanser will help to deep clean and helps remove tough stains.iii Always follow your dental professional’s advice on removal and care of your partial.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

If you have sore gums or partial denture pain, visit your dentist, who’ll be able to check the fit of your partials and correct any misalignment, as well as recommend other treatments to ease your pain or discomfort.

SOURCES

  1. Removable Partial Dentures. MouthHealthy.org. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures-partial/ Accessed 1/12/2021.
  2. Removable Partial Dentures. MouthHealthy.org. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures-partial/ Accessed 1/12/2021.
  3. Removable Partial Dentures. MouthHealthy.org. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures-partial/ Accessed 1/12/2021.
  4. After Your Oral Surgery. Washington University School of Dentistry. https://dental.washington.edu/wp-content/media/oral-surgery/Afteryouroralsurgery.pdf. Accessed 23/03/20.
  5. Removable Partial Dentures. MouthHealthy.org. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures-partial/ Accessed 1/12/2021.