The Comprehensive Guide to Denture Adhesive: Benefits, Types, and Proper Use.


Dentures have been around for centuries. Technology and new materials have made modern dentures more comfortable, lifelike, and secure than ever before.

Denture adhesives generally improve the fit and comfort of dentures. Denture adhesive helps hundreds of millions of people  enjoy their beautiful smiles every day.

How do you decide which type of adhesive is best for you? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of denture adhesive, how they work, what to look for, and the unique benefits of each one.

What Are Denture Adhesives?

Denture adhesives are intended to improve retention and stability of dentures. The first denture adhesive was introduced in the early 1900s. Since then, many different types and brands have been developed. The FDA classifies all denture adhesives as a medical device. The American Dental Association (ADA) awards the Seal of Acceptance for dental products that meet certain criteria for safety and effectiveness.  Even though denture adhesives have been around for over 100 years, Adhesadent is the very first denture adhesive to earn The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

Are Denture Adhesives Necessary ?

Most people think that denture adhesive is necessary to help keep dentures in. That isn’t always the case, but adhesives generally help. Some denture wearers, thanks to great bone structure and fit, may not feel the need for any adhesive. However, most people do appreciate the extra stability and retention that denture adhesives do provide.

How Do Denture Adhesives Work?

People who wear dentures can expect the fit to change as the ridges adapt. Denture adhesives are applied to the inside of the denture, the side that comes in contact with the gums.

When used properly, denture adhesives create a sticky layer between the tissues and the denture to provide a better grip. By filling in any gaps, adhesive provides a better seal for added retention and improved eating. But denture adhesives can’t make up for an old or ill-fitting denture. There is no substitute for new and better fitting dentures.

Types of Denture Adhesives

There are four types of denture adhesives: creams, powders, strips, and pads. They all help the denture adhere to the gums and stay in the mouth. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best for you depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Adhesive Creams

Denture adhesive cream is by far the most popular. The cream helps seal out food particles while providing retention. Even better, denture creams help protect your gums from irritation.

Adhesive cream is applied in small dots &/or lines on the inside of the dry denture. The placement of the adhesive cream varies, depending on whether it’s an upper or lower denture as well as personal preference.

Studies indicate that adhesive cream may have the highest adhesive strength. However, it may be the most difficult to remove and clean, from both the dentures and the gums.

Adhesive Powders

Powder Denture Adhesive soaks up water to expand and help fill in the spaces between the denture and gums, similar to cream adhesives. The adhesive powder is sprinkled directly on the inside of wet dentures. Unlike denture adhesive cream, the powder should cover the entire inside of the denture- the surface that touches the gums.

In general, Denture Powder is easier to use and to remove than creams. If you don’t like the texture of creams, or the clean-up,  adhesive powder might be the right adhesive for you. Some people find that combining adhesive cream and powder, either by sprinkling the powder on top of the adhesive or by mixing them together first, will further improve retention and stability of the dentures, especially when talking and eating.

Denture Adhesive Strips

Denture adhesive strips are packaged in a variety of sizes.  The adhesive strips are 1st wetted with water, and then applied wet to the inside of the dry denture. 

Denture adhesive strips work best on loose dentures. However, due to the space requirements, they run the risk of changing the bite.Because adhesive strips are easier to apply and remove, they are less messy than creams or powders.Denture strips are more expensive than creams and powder adhesives.

Denture Adhesive Pads

Image result for denture pads

Denture adhesive pads are a neat, easy way to help keep in very loose dentures. They are too big to fit in most dentures.  They are also the most difficult adhesives to master.

First you must trim the pad with scissors to fit the denture. Once the size is right, place the pad in the denture, wet it & tap it down. The fit of the pad and the amount of moisture is critical. They are very technique sensitive.

Denture adhesive pads can be the most expensive option.

What to Consider When Buying Denture Adhesives

People have individual needs and comfort levels so there are several factors to consider when choosing between the different types of denture adhesive. One patient may prefer one type of adhesive over another- based on retention, comfort, cleanability, ease of application and the ingredients.

Which Denture Adhesive is Right for You?

That is a tough question. Everyone is different, not just terms of the fit of the dentures, but also sensitivity to certain ingredients. Even different saliva types can have an effect on the usefulness of one adhesive over another.

My advice is to try each type of denture adhesive. That is the only true way to determine which one is best for you. But before you do, here are some things to look for- does it have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, is it easy to use, is it easy to clean , does it hold well, is there a taste, dye, and of course, what’s in it?

Ingredients to Consider

While denture adhesives can improve the stability and retention of dentures, it’s important to be aware of the various ingredients used in the different products. Some ingredients can cause irritation, allergic reactions, or can even be harmful with prolonged use.

Ingredients vary with every adhesive, but there are certain additives everyone who uses denture adhesive should know about. Zinc is an essential mineral, but too much zinc can be toxic. Zinc is absorbed rapidly in the mouth, through the gums, palate, and under the tongue. Ingesting too much zinc can lead to hyperzincemia, which can cause copper deficiency, anemia, and neurological symptoms- even Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Polyvinyl acetate, commonly known as Elmer’s glue, is added to certain denture adhesives. However, some people may find it irritating. Further, it converts to alcohol which can burn and be hazardous with prolonged exposure to the gums. Some denture adhesives use both PVA and alcohol. They can cause irritation, dryness, and even contribute to oral cancer.

Other ingredients to consider include red dye, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Some people may be sensitive or allergic to these ingredients, resulting in itching, swelling, &/or general discomfort.

To avoid these potential issues, it’s essential to read the labels carefully and choose denture adhesives with safe and effective ingredients. The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance is a good indicator of a safe and reliable denture adhesive. The ADA evaluates products based on their safety, effectiveness, and quality, so a product with an ADA Seal is generally a good choice. Additionally, I recommend you consult with your dentist or denturist for the best advice.


Denture adhesives are used to improve the fit and stability of dentures. The best denture adhesive for you will depend on your personal preferences, your type of dentures, the fit of the dentures, and if it’s an upper &/or lower. It’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging and use the adhesive properly to avoid any potential side effects

Length of Hold

The length of hold varies depending on the adhesive type and manufacturer. However, research indicates that denture adhesives typically hold for 8 to 12 hours. Any longer would not be hygienic or healthy.


Denture adhesive prices vary between different types and different brands, ranging from $5 to $15 for a single item.


There are so many different denture adhesives out there because there are many different denture wearers. They all have their strong and weak points. I hope I provided some useful information to help you make your choice.

Good luck & all the best on your journey!

Dr. B

 -Did you know that we have received over 1,000 5-Star Reviews from happy customers? That’s more than the top 3 denture brands combined! Not bad for a brand new company!

Once people try our products, they never want to use anything else! Check out our website to read testimonials from people like you who made the switch to Dr. B Dental Solutions!

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Or 2 with video & captions

Dr. Ian Topelson , international denture authority, had a lot of great things to say about Adhesadent Denture Adhesive. Dr. T says “It’s the next best thing to dental implants implants!”