Denture Dry Mouth: The Pros and Cons of Chewing Gum

If your mouth isn't producing enough saliva, it may become uncomfortably dry. As a denture wearer, a dry mouth may pose additional problems over and above a feeling of dryness. Saliva helps your dentures stick to your mouth, keeping them in place. If your mouth can't produce enough saliva, your dentures may feel loose or unstable. While chewing gum has oral advantages to denture wearers just as it does for people with their natural teeth, gum also has some disadvantages if you wear false teeth.

The Advantages of Gum For Denture Wearers

If you have a dry mouth, chewing gum helps your mouth to produce more saliva. As well as making your mouth moister and reducing the discomfort you may have been experiencing from excessive dryness, this also gives you a major boost in terms of your denture fit.

Dentures need a layer of fluid to stay where they should in your mouth. Typically, your saliva provides this fluid, sitting between your mouth and your dental plates to hold them in place. If your mouth can't make enough saliva, your dentures may slip around and feel like they are going to fall out; chewing gum may simply help your dentures fit better by increasing your mouth's fluid levels.

The Disadvantages of Gum For Denture Wearers

Chewing gum can be sticky, and you may find that some gums stick to your dentures when you try to chew. You're not likely to see many saliva-boosting benefits if you can't chew a piece of gum because it all ends up stuck to your false teeth. Plus, if gum sticks to your teeth, they'll feel uncomfortable, and you'll have the tiresome task of cleaning the gum off your dentures.

Tip: It's worth using sugar-free gums rather than ones that contain sugar. As well as being better for you by reducing your sugar intake, a gum that contains a sweetener is often less sticky than regular gums, making it less likely to stick to your dentures. Your dentist may also be able to recommend gums with reduced stickiness that are specifically designed for denture wearers.

You may also find that chewing gum is not the same experience it was before you had your false teeth fitted. You may find it hard to chew gum as easily as you once did, especially when you first try to chew gum. Your teeth may slip around as you chew, which may hurt your mouth, and you may not find the feeling at all comfortable.

Other Dry Mouth Fixes

If chewing gum doesn't work for you or your dentures, you can investigate other ways to reduce your oral dryness. For example, you can give yourself a salivary boost by sucking on sugar-free sweets. It may also help to drink plenty of water and to eat wet rather than dry foods. While you're trying to deal with your dry mouth, you may also find it useful to use a denture adhesive to give your teeth some extra grip.

If your dry mouth is really affecting your denture fit and the comfort levels in your mouth, it's worth talking to your dentist. Your dentist may be able to recommend products such as artificial saliva or mouthwashes that boost saliva flow; if your dentures don't have a great fit, you may be advised to have them relined to make them fit better. If your dentist feels that your dry mouth is a side effect of a medication you're taking, you may be advised to see your doctor to see if it is possible to switch to a different prescription that may not give you such a dry mouth.