June 15, 2022

How To Make Dentures Work When You Have Flat Gums

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Steel Magnolias is one of those classic southern movies that has been referenced and quoted countless times in homes, cars, and restaurants across the country. 

Sometimes we quote Shelby, other times we quote Ouiser, Miss Truvy, or Annelle, and still other times we quote Clairee. Whether it’s from scenes at the funeral, shooting birds, or attending the wedding reception, that movie is chock full of quotes. 

Perhaps one of the funniest quotes comes from Clairee at the wedding reception. She is talking to Truvy as they watch the wedding guests take to the dance floor. One guest, in particular, is an older woman who has managed to snatch a young gentleman.

This lady drags the poor guy out onto the dance floor. She was getting her groove on by very wildly shaking every one of her tail feathers. So, imagine a portly older woman bopping her backside very aggressively wearing a skin-tight church dress and Sunday-tea party hat while a handsome young man awkwardly dances with her. 

Yep. This is the scene Truvy and Clairee are scrutinizing when Clairee makes the spot-on comment, “Looks like two pigs fightin’ under a blanket.”

Mmmhmm. Sure does. Sometimes things just don’t fit right … no matter how many extra measures we take to make it fit.

You can have the same problem with dentures. This is especially found to be true when you have what people refer to as flat or thick gums.

How Can You Make Dentures Fit When You Have Flat Gums?

What are flat gums? They are often referred to as thick gums, which is a little bit more apt description. So basically, flat gums are thicker than average gums.

Thick or flat gum tissue is usually accompanied by teeth that appear to be thick and square. The tooth shape is noticeable because they are shorter and thicker than the average tooth would be.

Where a square tooth sits, you’ll also find that the gums containing those teeth are thicker. (Flat gums also have a tendency to pocket. Pocketing is when your gums are no longer securely attached around the tooth, resulting in space around each individual tooth

Now that you know what flat/thick gums are, we can discuss why thick gums and dentures don’t mix. 

Okay. So to understand why flat gums don’t work well with dentures, you first need a better understanding of dentures. 

Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth made from gum-colored plastic or acrylic with replicas of your teeth embedded in that gum-colored material. A full set of dentures follows after all of your teeth have been pulled.

Traditional Dentures
Traditional Dentures

Once your gums have healed over, the upper dentures are fitted over your existing gums and consist of a plate that covers the roof of your mouth. The lower dentures fit over your bottom gums and are held in place by gravity and the power of your cheek muscles.

By their very nature, dentures have a tendency to be rather thick and bulky. They can take up much more space in your mouth than your natural teeth. 

With all of those things considered, let’s do the math. 

Flat Gums + Thick Dentures = Super Thick Dentures

Clearly, dentures already come with their own set of issues. They are inherently thicker than your natural teeth and gums. So you must adjust to this new prosthesis in your mouth that causes you to gag, spit, and stumble through your words. 

Yay. Flat gums and dentures sound fun, huh?

When your dentures are too thick, you could experience the following:

Jaw pain: Your jaws hurt on either side and the pain only worsens throughout the day. The pain may even be coupled with a clicking sound in your jaw whenever you move your jaw. This may result in TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). 

Regular gagging: Unfortunately, it’s common for your brain to see your dentures as a foreign object in your mouth. This can make you nauseous and can cause you to gag in an attempt to eject them from your body. To make it worse, the back of that upper palate can activate your gag reflex. Fun stuff, huh?

Prominent Teeth and Gums: Your new smile with thick gums and even thicker dentures will not be the same as it once was. More than likely, your lips will feel much different wrapping around your new teeth. It can be nearly impossible not to show more of your teeth and gums than you were used to before dentures.

Trouble Speaking: Those bulky dentures can slip and make it hard for you to speak. Your tongue can’t work the way it is meant to because the thick palate is in the way.

Can You Make Dentures Adhere Better to Flat Gums?

Umm … You can try.

Sooo …

What Can You Do to Replace Missing Teeth When You Have Flat Gums?

Don’t get dentures. We repeat. Do NOT get dentures to replace your missing teeth

We believe that the most natural-looking, natural-feeling solution to replace your teeth is a new set of Nuvia dental implants. Nuvia's dental implants are a very safe and secure teeth replacement option.

Flat gums are not an issue when you choose to replace your missing teeth with dental implants. These implants can replace your teeth up to three months faster than dentures and you don't have to worry about them slipping or causing you to gag.

Dental Implant Patient with Nuvia Dental Implant Staff

Our team at Nuvia would love for you to reach out to us! We want to answer all of your questions and teach you everything you need to know about dentures and dental implants.

You deserve to have a smile that lasts as long as you do.

And remember—just say no to dentures! 


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