How to Make Your Denture Fit Properly

Jump to Section

The International Journal of Dental Clinics is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links.

Does your denture fit properly – and what should you do if it doesn’t?

Dentures are a great alternative to dental implants, for many reasons. The fact that they are more budget-friendly while still looking and functioning much the same as natural teeth is just one of them.

But if your dentures are loose or don’t fit properly, they will not serve their intended purpose and might even cause harm to your gums. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure that your dentures fit properly and stay in put.

If you want to learn more about what causes ill-fitting and loose dentures, what happens if you ignore poorly fitting dentures, and how to ensure that your dentures always stay exactly where you want them, just keep reading.

Signs of ill-fitting dentures

How do you know if your dentures are ill-fitting or loose? Denture wearers, these are the sign to look out for:

Chafing, pain, bleeding and sores

If your dentures are chafing and causing irritation, this could be a sign that your dentures are either loose or too large or small for your mouth.

It could also just be teething problems. Let us explain: If you are either a new denture wearer or have just gotten new dentures, you should give yourself a few weeks to get used to wearing them. They need to settle in, so to speak.

If, after several weeks of breaking in your new dentures, you are still experiencing discomfort, bleeding or developing mouth sores, it is about time you start looking around for a fix.

Dentures that move

If your dentures are shifting and moving around in your mouth, this is a clear indication that they don’t fit, and that they certainly aren’t being held in place.

Dentures that move around in your mouth is one of the things many people worry about before they get dentures. Questions such as ‘Will my dentures fall out of my mouth when I eat?’ may have been playing on your mind. And while a pair of well-fitted dentures won’t give you any cause to worry about loosing your teeth mid-meal or mid-sentence, loose dentures may actually fall out of your mouth at the most inconvenient times and in the most inconvenient places.

Moving dentures are also problematic for other reasons. If your dentures don’t stay in place, they don’t serve one of their important functions, which is to keep the rest of your teeth from shifting and becoming crooked. Keeping your natural teeth in place is, in fact, one of the key reasons for getting dentures in the first place – without anything there, any remaining teeth you have will soon become crooked, impacted and misaligned.

Speaking difficulties

If you don’t keep your denture snug in your mouth, you may find it difficult to speak properly. Forming familiar words can suddenly become difficult when your teeth are loose and moving around in your mouth, of if they are either too large or too small.

As you can probably imagine, speech difficulties are not only a practical inconvenience, it can also impact your confidence.

Difficulties chewing and swallowing

Simple things like chewing and swallowing can become difficult when your dentures don’t fit properly.

Needless to say, chewing and swallowing are vital functions that you should be able to perform every day without even thinking about it.

A clicking noise when eating

While we are on the topic of eating, loose or ill-fitting dentures can produce a clicking sound in your mouth when you are eating. This continuous clicking noise can be both embarrassing and tedious to contend with.


If your dentures are loose, they can make you gag.

Upper denture

Upper dentures cause gagging if your baseplate is extending beyond the end of your hard palate. This can make your upper denture break suction and come loose from your gums. Annoyingly, this in turn causes even more gagging.

Lower denture

Lower dentures cause gagging when they are overextended underneath your tongue near the back of your mouth. This causes the denture to lift whenever you move your tongue.

Bad breath

Have you ever heard of denture breath?

To add insult to injury, ill-fitting dentures can also cause bad breath. This is often accompanied with a strange and unpleasant taste in your mouth.

What causes poorly fitting and loose dentures?

Now that you know how to recognize the signs of ill-fitting dentures, you are no doubt wondering what causes your dentures to come loose or no longer fit. Here are the most common reasons:

Bone resorption

If you haven’t heard about bone resorption before, we have to talk about this unpleasant potential risk of wearing ill-fitting dentures.

If your denture no longer fits or stays in place, bone resorption is the most likely reason. Bone resorption is when your jawbone begins to loose definition and mass as a result of no longer being held in place and stimulated by the pressure and presence of natural teeth. If you are only wearing partial dentures to replace a couple of missing teeth, you are not going to experience much bone resorption, but if you are wearing full dentures, the likelihood of you developing this is high.

Shrunken gum ridges

Shrunken gum ridges are another common cause of ill-fitting dentures.

After you have been wearing dentures for a while, not only your jaw bone but your gum ridges may also shrink, which could cause your dentures to no longer fit, even if they fit you perfectly to begin with.

Dentures that are too big or too small

If your dentures are either too large and clunky, or alternatively too small to fill the space left by missing teeth, you will never be able to make them fit without the help of your dentist.

In most cases, dentists manage to give you dentures that fit perfectly, but in some cases they may be a little too thick or long, causing them to chafe and sit loosely in your mouth.

If you purchase so-called ‘boil and bite’ dentures and fit them yourself at home, the chances of you ending up with an ill-fitting pair of dentures is pretty high. You are usually going to be a lot better off going to the dentist and getting a professionally made pair.

Denture wearers, this is how to keep your dentures in place

There are many different types of adhesives you can use to keep your dentures held firmly in place. Here is an overview over the best options on the market:

Denture adhesive

Denture adhesive is usually the answer to the question of how to hold your dentures in place.

There are many different types of adhesive, including gel, cream and powder adhesive.

As a rule of thumb, it is usually best to go with an adhesive from a reputable brand, rather than an unproven but cheaper alternative. More often than not, you will wind up having to buy the more expensive adhesive, anyway, if the cheap version doesn’t do a sufficient job.


DenSureFit is a soft silicone gel that provides soft, cushiony comfort for your gums while ensuring that your dentures stay in place. It is also the perfect solution for denture wearers that are allergic to other denture adhesives.

What is so special about DenSureFit? Professional grade silicone. There is a reason why scuba masks and snorkeling masks seal with silicone – this medical grade material provides a snug, custom fit that thoroughly grips and seals.

All in all, getting your hands on one DenSureFit kit could make a tremenduous difference in your life if you are struggling with dentures that keep coming loose.

Denture cushions

A denture cushion is a tiny, soft cushion made of pliable thermoplastic. They offer an easy and straightforward way of holding dentures comfortably in place.

To use denture cushions, dip them in warm water to soften them and make them stick. Then, apply them to your clean and moistened dentures and press them into place.

Denture pads

Denture pads are a variation over denture cushions.

Denture pads are made of the same thin and pliable thermoplastic material, but instead of small individual cushions, they’re shaped like larger pads, usually shaped to conform to the arch of the dentures.

Denture reline

Now and then, dentures have to be relined.

It is possible to purchase your own denture reline kit either online or from a chemist, but in most cases it is best to leave the relining procedure to your dentist.

Relining is a simple process that reshapes the underside of the dentures in order to improve their fit.

A soft denture reline only needs to be done every two years or so, so if you attend regular dental checkups and make sure you bring your dentures every time, your dentist will inform you when it is time to get your dentures relined.

Final thoughts on how to keep your darn teeth in place

Wearing dentures is a fantastic alternative to living with missing teeth, but if your dentures fit poorly or have a tendency to become loose, you are bound to experience all manner of issues ranging from mere discomfort and embarrassment to loss of jawbone and facial muscles.

Fortunately, there are usually simple solutions to hand that can ensure your dentures fit properly and stay in place. These solutions include denture adhesives, silicone, liners, pads and even powders.

If you are a new denture wearer, you may have to arm yourself with patience as you try out a few different solutions to find the one that works best for you.

And should you fail in getting your dentures to fit snugly, your dentist will be able to trim your dentures as needed.

Frequently asked questions

How long does DenSureFit last?

There are many positive things to say about DenSureFit. It is made from the highest quality, is colorless and odorless, and lasts up to three months!

What is a denture fit?

Denture fit refers to how well (or not) a set of dentures fits your mouth.

The difference between a good and a bad denture fit is like the difference between night and day. If your dentures fit well, they are going to sit comfortably in your mouth and give you the ability to chew, eat, speak and otherwise use your mouth like you would if you had all of your natural teeth.

If your dentures don’t fit properly, they can cause all sorts of issues including but not limited to chafing, irritation, sores, jawbone loss, and speech and chewing difficulties.

Can you use adhesive with DenSureFit?

DenSureFit minimizes the need for adhesive, but you can use a small amount of adhesive in conjunction with DenSureFit to keep your dentures held firmly in place.

How can I make my dentures fit better?

If your dentures don’t fit well, there are several things you can do to make them fit better.

If your dentures are brand new and don’t seem to fit comfortably in your mouth, it could simply be because they are new. If you give it a bit of time, your dentures will usually start to feel more comfortable without you needing to do anything.

In some cases, the bad fit may be due to your dentures having been improperly made (The chances for this are significantly higher if you have bought boil and bite dentures and fitted them yourself), or if they are too big or too small for your mouth. If your dentures fit badly because of their size, you need to book an appointment with your dentist who will be able to adjust them for you.

If, however, your dentures don’t fit poorly for any obvious reason, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself by using denture adhesive to keep them in place. The feeling of your dentures not fitting may be due to them shifting in your mouth, rather than an actually poor fit.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.