The Link Between Retention, Eating and Denture Satisfaction

Numerous clinical studies have shown that there is a statistically significant association between the ability to eat specific foods and denture satisfaction.1 Poor retention can cause a range of difficulties, from eating, talking and the development of sore spots. This has a major impact on the quality of life for denture-wearers. This page will outline the main causes of poor retention, how it affects the denture experience, and solutions for improving retention and quality of life.

The common symptoms of a loose denture are:

1. Looseness during speech.

2. Looseness during eating.

3. Looseness when opening their mouth widely.

4. Pain during function.


The Main Causes of Poor Retention:

There are many potential causes for the looseness of a denture. Old or ill-fitting dentures are often at the root of poor retention. Over time, the shape and ridge of the mouth can change. While the changes are subtle, denture are made to fit perfectly with the ridge-line, so even minor distortions can lead to a looser fit and the development of sore spots which become more pronounced over time. That is why dentists recommend replacing dentures every 5 years.

The mandibular [Lower] denture is usually more problematic than the maxillary [Upper] denture owing to the smaller surface area coverage of the foundation tissues. The primary cause is the anatomy of the lower jaw. Unlike the upper jaw, the lower jaw does not allow for an easily obtained 360-degree seal of denture borders. The denture must allow space for the tongue and the up and down movement of the floor of the mouth. The lower denture must also be fabricated to resist dislodgement by the cheek side gums, called vestibule.2

Additional reasons for ill fitting dentures leading to looseness could include:

  1. Lack of seal due to inadequate denture border length.
  2. Resorption of remaining ridge or bone.
  3. Warped denture base.
  4. Decreased in amount and quality of saliva.

Always see a dentist if you have issues with denture retention or fit.

How Poor Retention Impacts The Denture Experience:

An unstable denture may result in reduced maximum bite forces which can impact the ability to eat and affect jaw health. In patients, particularly those who are more active socially, unstable dentures may lead to social isolation due to embarrassment; this also affects the patient’s diet and leads to malnutrition.

Loose dentures can also lead to irritation, sore spots and discomfort. Not only are these often painful, but they can also impact gum health and oral hygiene. The causes of poor retention can also increase the likelihood of developing infections. For more information please see our page on Oral Infections.

When a patient suffers from loose dentures, dry mouth and Thrush, this can lead to a cycle of worsening issues that will ensure a negative experience. This is why it’s important to proactively maintain denture health, comfort and hygiene.

Solutions for Improving Denture Retention:

1. Apply Adhesadent Denture Adhesive

Denture Adhesives can be a great solution for increased retention, improving the ability to eat, speak and maintain full control of the denture. When evaluating a denture adhesive, the first thing to look for is whether it contains Zinc as this has been found to cause serious health issues in denture wearers. As a result, the FDA required that denture adhesives either reduce the amount of Zinc or clearly label the risks of exposure to Zinc.

Unfortunately, practically all the main denture adhesive brands used Zinc as the main active ingredient, so by removing or reducing the Zinc content, they all became less effective.

Adhesadent Denture Adhesive is entirely Zinc-Free and was the first Denture Adhesive to be awarded the prestigious ADA Seal of Acceptance. Not only that, but Adhesadent’s innovative formula combines modern science with time-tested natural remedies to provide a powerful long-lasting hold while promoting healthy gums. While most adhesives dry out the mouth further, Adhesadent is rich in Aloe Vera and Vitamins A, D & E to soothe and moisturize.

For full instructions, visit the Adhesadent Denture Adhesive product page. Here are some helpful tips. With Adhesadent, less is more. Experiment with different amounts to find the best solution for your personal needs. If you experience any oozing, you are using too much. Additionally, Adhesadent sticks best to a DRY DENTURE and MOIST GUMS. After adding Adhesadent to the denture, you may lightly soak the denture/adhesive in warm water 20 seconds before inserting into the mouth for added retention and comfort. Always clean and reapply adhesive after meals.

While Denture Adhesives are a great way to improve retention, it is important to address any underlying causes of ill-fitting dentures with your dentist to ensure the best experience.

Additional solutions for ill-fitting dentures:

2. Perform a hard reline of the denture.

3. Remake the denture

4. Explore alternatives to a removable denture, like implant-retained bridges.

5. For more information on dental prosthetic treatment options, visit

This is an excellent resource for learning about the different treatments, asking questions to dental professionals and the community, reading the personal experiences of patients who already went through the process, and finding a dentist in your community.