Surface Roughness in Dentures: What Causes It?

16 November 2021
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Your new set of complete dentures requires as much care as natural teeth do. The precise method of care is certainly going to be different because your natural teeth can't be removed from your mouth in order to clean them. All the same, it's possible to be overenthusiastic in your cleaning efforts. How can improperly cleaning dentures actually damage them?

Acrylic Resin 

Full dentures feature a denture base plate made of acrylic resin manufactured to match the colour of your gums. The full set of prosthetic teeth contained within the base plate may also be acrylic, although porcelain teeth are fairly common. You will receive full care instructions from your dentist or denturist, but the great thing about dentures is that much of the required cleaning is passive. You simply soak your dentures overnight in a special cleansing solution before putting them back in place the following morning.

Caustic Properties

This overnight cleansing is where some denture wearers may encounter an issue. Not all cleaning solutions are the same. Many of these solutions contain a high concentration of sodium hypochlorite, which is bleach. While it can be effective in cleansing dentures, it can be a little too effective. Since bleach has caustic properties, it will eventually begin to degrade the acrylic surfaces of your full dentures. This leads to surface roughness.

Surface Roughness

Although the early stages of surface roughness are superficial, your dentures are becoming progressively more brittle. As the acrylic becomes more rough, tiny cracks, grooves, fissures, and imperfections will develop. This means your dentures are more likely to harbour bacteria or fungus. This can lead to a yeast infection in your gingival tissues. Although overnight cleansing should eliminate most bacteria, the issue will continue to repeat itself until the deterioration and surface roughness of your dentures are addressed.

Solutions to the Problem

Talk to your dentist or denturist about how you've been cleaning your dentures. Your current overnight cleansing collusion may be too harsh, so it will need to be replaced or diluted. Your dentures may also need modifications to remove any surface roughness. The prosthetic teeth can be polished, smoothing them out to remove surface imperfections. Denture base plates cannot always be polished, as this alters their contours, and can lead to an improper fit. The base plate can be relined, which involves adding a thin layer of resin to cover the underlying roughness.

Surface roughness is always unwelcome when you have dentures, but all it generally requires is a change of habits, often in conjunction with a few minor repairs to your dentures.