Everything about denture adhesives

November 20, 2021

Everything about denture adhesives
Adhesive paste which you put on the dentures to keep it stable
By applying denture adhesive to the denture, it keeps the prosthesis firm in place

Dentures need to be comfortable and well-fitting if they are to provide an effective replacement for missing teeth. The key to good fitting lies in technical excellence in fabrication of the denture. Often, concern may be expressed by the patient about keeping them in place within the mouth. Denture adhesives or fixatives prove useful in these circumstances as they add to the confidence and comfort level of the patients.


Why denture adhesives are required?

• At times, the bone structure shrinks with age and the dentures become loose. Denture adhesives can be a temporary solution in such a situation till new dentures are fabricated. One can also get them lined for better fitting and comfort.

• The use of denture adhesive provides a good seal between the denture and the gums. This prevents accumulation of food debris beneath the denture, leading to greater hygiene and comfort.

• It ensures that the dentures do not rub against the gums while biting into or chewing hard or crunchy food.

• It offers greater stability to the dentures while talking and eating.

• Denture glue also becomes necessary for those who have dry mouth as saliva acts as a natural adhesive.

• Sometimes it becomes difficult to come up to patient expectations as far as denture comfort is concerned. Here again, the use of denture adhesives gives extra confidence to patients, especially in the case of new users.

Types of adhesives

Available in powder, cream, paste and strips, denture adhesives can be chosen as per one’s ease of use. They are also available in different flavors and one can pick according to one’s taste. Flavor free adhesives are also available for those who do not want an artificial taste in their mouth.

The dentist will not only help you to select the right adhesive but also guide you on how to use them. They are used in small amounts only. If the patient needs to apply them in copious amounts, then there is probably a fitting problem. In such a situation it is better to replace them.

How to use a denture adhesive?


• Powder form:  The powder is lightly applied on the undersurface and the denture is worn after shaking off excess powder. You will need to moisten the denture before sprinkling the powder. This should keep the denture in place for about 12 hours.

• Cream adhesive: A very small amount of the cream is spread on the undersurface of the denture before wearing it. If it oozes out on wearing then you are using too much cream. A cream adhesive has the added advantage of preventing irritation to the gums.

• Adhesive strips: Nowadays denture adhesives are also available as strips which can be applied directly on the denture after removing the covering. Here you will need to moisten the strips lightly before using it. This type of adhesive is especially convenient as it is easy to use and not messy like powder or cream.


• Clean your dentures and dry them before use
• Apply minimal quantity of denture fixative
• Do not apply the adhesive at the very edge of the dentures
• You should need to apply it only once during the day
• Denture adhesives are usually used for full dentures
• Always remove the adhesive from the denture after taking out
• Don’t forget to rinse your mouth after taking out the denture. This ensures that the adhesive does not remain in the mouth
• Do not use the adhesive if you have any kind of cuts or sores in the mouth


Denture adhesives safety concerns

Most adhesives contain zinc as it helps to improve the grip of the fixative. However, prolonged or excessive use may lead to an overdose of zinc or contribute to low levels of copper. This can lead to nerve damage resulting in tingling or even numbness in the hands and feet. It is also known to cause bone marrow suppression. Therefore they should be used in moderation so as to keep systemic absorption to the minimum. If the patient experiences such issues, then adhesives that do not contain zinc are a better option. In general, if your denture is a good fit, there should not be any need for denture adhesives. It is suction force that should keep the dentures in place.


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