Dangers of not wearing dentures

Good fitting and well-cared for dentures can be worn with confidence to enhance your appearance as you go on with your daily activities including eating and speaking normally. 

Although they can be removed by the wearer whenever they need to, like for cleaning after meals or when going to bed, not wearing your dentures during normal hours can cause many of the problems associated with missing teeth to re-emerge.  

These problems comprise both functional and aesthetic concerns that, like difficulty with speech, inability to chew food properly, shifting teeth, and an unattractive smile, among many others that would likely affect all aspects of your health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Dangers of not wearing dentures

Reasons why some people don't wear their dentures

While dentures can be a suitable option for replacing missing teeth, there are certain reasons why someone may choose not to wear dentures. These reasons include:

Discomfort and Difficulty in Adjustment

Some individuals may find it challenging to adapt to wearing dentures. Initially, dentures can feel bulky, cause sore spots, and create difficulties with speaking or eating. The adjustment period can vary from person to person, and for some, it may take time to become accustomed to the sensation of wearing dentures.

Changes in Taste and Sensation

Dentures cover the palate, which can impact the sense of taste and the ability to fully enjoy food. Some individuals may feel a reduced sensation or altered taste while wearing dentures, which can affect their overall dining experience.

Maintenance and Care

Dentures require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent plaque buildup, bad breath, and oral infections. Some people may find the upkeep of dentures to be cumbersome or time-consuming, leading to a reluctance to wear them.

Self-Image and Confidence

Wearing dentures can have an impact on a person’s self-image and confidence, especially if they’re in their 20s or 30s, and feel self-conscious about the appearance or fit of the dentures that are normally associated with the elderly. Such individuals may prefer alternative tooth replacement options, such as dental implants or bridges, which provide a more permanent and natural-looking solution.

Dangers of not wearing dentures

While there are good arguments as two why some people may choose not to wear their dentures, doings this not only negates the benefits of tooth replacement, but also puts the false teeth at risk of damage from poor handling and denture storage when not in use. This could in turn lead to poor fit, regular need for adjustments and relining, and ultimately higher cost of tooth replacement. 

Here are some of the problems of not wearing your dentures:

Impaired Chewing and Nutrition

Missing teeth make it difficult to properly chew food, especially hard or tough items. This can lead to dietary limitations and inadequate nutrition, as individuals may avoid certain foods or struggle to consume a balanced diet.

Digestive Issues

Inadequate chewing due to missing teeth can result in poor digestion. Larger food particles may be swallowed, leading to digestive discomfort, bloating, and potential gastrointestinal problems.

Jawbone Deterioration

When teeth are missing, the underlying jawbone lacks stimulation, causing it to gradually deteriorate. This process, known as bone resorption, can lead to a loss of jawbone height and density. Over time, it can result in facial collapse, a sunken appearance, and difficulties with fitting dental prosthetics or implants in the future.

Shifting of Remaining Teeth

The gaps created by missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift or tilt into the empty spaces. This movement can disrupt the alignment of the bite, leading to issues such as malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) and potential jaw joint problems, like TMJ – temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Speech Difficulties

Missing teeth can affect speech clarity, causing difficulties in pronouncing certain sounds and words. This can lead to communication challenges, reduced self-confidence, and social discomfort in various settings.

Aesthetic Concerns

Missing teeth can significantly impact one’s appearance, affecting their self-esteem and confidence. The gaps in the smile can make individuals self-conscious and hesitant to smile or engage in social interactions.

Psychological Impact

The emotional and psychological effects of missing teeth should not be overlooked. People may experience lowered self-confidence, decreased self-esteem, and potential social anxiety due to their dental condition.

Benefits of dentures over implants

While many young people might not like the idea of wearing dentures, especially considering alternative tooth replacement options like implants that offer a natural feel, there are several reasons why your dentist might recommend dentures over implants.

For instance, if you have lost all your teeth in the upper or lower arch, or both, then you are a candidate for dentures. Dentures can be quickly fabricated to replace one or all of your missing natural teeth, helping to restore your appearance and full function of your mouth, sometimes even on the same day with immediate dentures.  

Dentures can even be used immediately after extractions by people with badly decayed teeth, advanced periodontal disease, or some other problem that caused them to loose some teeth.

Here are some benefits of dentures over other tooth replacement treatments:

  • Dentures are more cost effective compared to implants.
  • Dentures can be placed immediately after tooth removal with same day dentures, or within a few days for custom-made dentures
  • Dentures can restore your smile while the surgical wound for the implant heals, so you won’t have to stay toothless during this period
  • Dentures allow for a non-invasive, non-surgical tooth replacement treatment

Final thoughts 

Dentures are  designed to address the problems associated with missing teeth. They provide a functional and aesthetic solution that can improve chewing ability, speech clarity, and restore a natural-looking smile. 

However, if someone chooses not to wear dentures despite needing them, they expose themselves to the problems associated with missing teeth. In fact, it can exacerbate these issues and lead to further oral health complications. 

Consulting with a dentist or prosthodontist can help assess individual needs, discuss suitable treatment options, and provide guidance on the potential risks and benefits associated with wearing dentures or exploring alternative solutions for replacing missing teeth.








  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

  • Lilly

    Lilly, aka, Liza Lee, is a passionate community oral health officer and our lead writer. She's not only well-versed in performing a multitude of dental procedures, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic, but also an avid writer. Driven by the significant oral health burden all around her, Lilly strives to build capacity and promote oral health. She envisions making a lasting impact by advancing research, prevention, and promotion efforts to alleviate oral health disparities. Please share your views and opinions on my posts.

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