Much like how your car's tyres will eventually lose their grip, your dentures will too. It's a perfectly natural process, and it occurs because your jaw actually minutely changes shape over the years. This happens with everyone, and it's more evident in people who have lost teeth, as the jawbone no longer has to support these teeth and so shrinks slightly. Getting your dentures relined to better fit your mouth is not a particularly complicated process, and yet it's vital to ensure that your dentures are doing the best possible job.


The portion of your mouth that comes into contact with your dentures and holds them in place is known as the edentulous ridge. This edentulous ridge is part of your gum tissue, and your dentures are designed to slot snugly into this part of your mouth. Your edentulous ridge retracts ever so slightly over time, particularly when you lose a tooth. The jawbone no longer supports the tooth and as such, the tissue around the lost tooth will shrink accordingly. This shrinkage is more pronounced in the first few months after the tooth has fallen out and will only be noticeable in the following years once you notice that your dentures no longer fit as well as they used to.


If you have dentures made in the weeks immediately after tooth loss, your dentist will want to check the fit just a few months later. This allows your dentist to note your level of edentulous ridge retraction (which is different for everyone) and might wish to reline the top or base of the denture for a better fit. You will only need to have your dentures relined if necessary approximately every year or two thereafter. You might notice that your dentures are beginning to slip during the course of normal activities such as speaking or eating, or the rubbing of the dentures against your gums might begin to cause irritation. Additional denture adhesive can correct the problem in the short term, but denture relining is necessary for continued comfort and ease of use.


When the time comes for denture relining, a mold is taken of your mouth (without dentures). The dentures are then slotted into this mold to see how loose they have become. A thin dental resin is applied, thickening the top or base of the dentures as needed. It can be worthwhile to have this service performed at a specialist denture clinic as they often have a faster turnaround time. Your dentist might need to send your dentures to an offsite laboratory to have the work performed, and this can take a day or two. And of course, it's not like you want to be without your dentures for an extended period of time.

Denture relining is a vital part of denture maintenance, and it's important to remember that it will need to be done from time to time at a denture clinic. Fortunately, it's not something that you need to have done so frequently.