Properly fitted dentures should be comfortable to wear and allow you to live a normal life. However, while our mouths change over time, our dentures do not. If you’ve noticed something is not quite right with how your dentures feel, it might be time for a check-up to determine if a new set of dentures is needed.

How can I tell if my dentures don’t fit properly?

Over time, the ridges in our gums can shrink, causing dentures to become loose. There are many short-term signs and symptoms of ill-fitting dentures, including:

  • Discomfort
  • Dentures that move
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing
  • Pain in the gums, often accompanied with bleeding
  • A clicking noise when eating
  • Bad breath or strange mouth taste

Long term problems with ill-fitting dentures

If left unchecked, ill-fitting dentures can cause many problems in the long-term, such as:


  • Dentures that are not fit properly can rub on the sensitive gums, causing mechanical irritation underneath the dentures. Over time, this chronic irritation can cause inflammation of the mouth and lips called stomatitis.(1) Stomatitis is uncomfortable, and if left untreated can lead to ulcers.



  • Over time, ill-fitting dentures that rub against the gums can cause inflammation that leads to ulcers.(2) They can be treated with daily corticosteroids and antiseptic, but prevention is better than cure. If they get bad enough, ulcers in the gum can expose underlying bone and lead to infection.(1)


  • Ill-fitting dentures can create a space between the gum and the dentures, which can trap food and bacteria. This leaves the mouth susceptible to fungal infection known as oral candidiasis.(3) In addition, ulcers that cause bleeding or expose the bone underneath the gums can lead to systemic infection that can affect other parts of your body.

Oral cancer

  • Chronic inflammation and infection is a risk factor for the development of oral cancer. Specifically, recent studies have identified a link between ill-fitting dentures and the risk of oral cancer.(4)

What should I do about ill-fitting dentures?

If you notice the signs or symptoms of ill-fitting dentures, we recommend booking in to see your dentist. It may be that your dentures need to be adjusted, relined, or replaced. If you are sick of wearing dentures altogether, ask your dentist if you are a candidate for dental implants.

In addition, regular check-ups to monitor the fit of your dentures will help prevent any long-term complications associated with ill-fitting dentures. Properly fitted dentures can drastically improve your oral health, improve your quality of life, and keep you smiling!