The word ‘adhesive’ creates the impression of a sticky, gluey substance that is used to bind things, and hence dental adhesives may be perceived as messy, sticky substances. However, there is little truth to this viewpoint except for the fact that they too perform some binding functions and this is where the similarities end.
Denture adhesives are not compulsory for all denture wearers — the adhesive is not recommended for all denture fittings and is not an imperative part of using dentures. A dental adhesive can simply be understood as a mode of augmenting the retention and stability of the denture fittings. This makes it simple to chew food and eases the entire denture-wearing process. Further, the adhesive acts as a sort of oral lubricant and also insulates the gums, cushioning them against the pressure exerted at the time of eating food. Sometimes, adhesives are advised to psychologically assure and comfort individuals who are panicking away from their dentures.
When are denture adhesives usually prescribed?
The usual case, when recommending an adhesive, is related to folks who have extremely dry mouths or other such conditions that tend to dampen the steadiness of an implanted denture. The set of individuals that present such issues include those with neurological conditions and the very elderly — those who are unable to individually adjust to the wearing dentures. Sometimes, dental wearers consist of people whose daily lifestyle includes excessive amounts of verbal communication. These people generally need the adhesive to ensure that their dentures are not misplaced due to over-use of the facial muscles and the dryness of the mouth.
What are the common types of dental adhesives?
Paste adhesive — this is very easy to use. It is applied like an ointment, wherein you rub it over the denture. There is little or no inconvenience when using paste-type adhesive. It can be applied every time your mouth feels too dry or the denture feels like having moved around a bit.
Powder adhesive — this is slightly tedious to apply, since it needs to be sprinkled to create a thin layer that is spread over the surface of a denture. The excess powder has to physically shaken-off but once you get a hang of it, the process is rather simple. Powders are easier to clean since they don’t stick to the denture.
Why are adhesives sometimes ‘not’ recommended?
Many times dental adhesives are prescribed beyond their real purpose, which is to assist in making the denture-wearing experience less tedious and boost the convenience factor for the wearer. However, the situation is different for patients who are stuck with poorly-fitted dentures. In these cases, the adhesives are applied in excessive amounts as a poor attempt to alleviate the discomfort that is being caused by badly-designed dentures. This is when adhesives tend to create problems and start sticking to the sides of the mouth and the dentures. Here, adhesives are used to plug-up the gaps created by loose dentures. Thus, it is not dental adhesives themselves but how they are being used that defines their utility.