No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

4 Signs Your Dentures Are Too Thick For Your Mouth

by Jeremiah Barnett

The pink palate of the dentures mimics the look of your gum tissue, but it also serves as the foundation for the entire denture plate. Most denture manufacturers err on the thick side when shaping the palate because overly thin pieces are more likely to crack and fracture under normal chewing forces. If you're experiencing any of these four problems a few months after first getting a new set of dentures, visit your dentist and ask about having the palate trimmed down to thin it a little. 

Soreness in the Jaw

Are you experiencing pain on the sides of your jaw that gets worse as the day goes on, or a clicking noise every time you open your jaw to speak or chew? It could be Temporomandibular Joint Disorder brought on by an ill-fitting upper denture plate. If the palate of your denture has too much material, it will interfere with the movement of your jaw and leave you with chronic pain. Only a dentist can determine if your dentures are causing the TMJD pain or if it's a pre-existing condition that needs separate treatment. 


It's natural and normal to feel a little nauseous or experience intermittent gagging when you first get dentures or switch to a new set because the back edges of the plates touch sensitive parts of the mouth and upper throat. However, gagging should slowly disappear during the first few weeks of daily use. If you're still taking your dentures out every few minutes to avoid a coughing fit brought on by intense gagging sensations, you should have the fit reevaluated to make sure the palate isn't pressing unnecessarily against your throat opening.

Showing Teeth and Gums

Many people have a hard time getting used to their smile with dentures because the lips fit differently around the prosthesis than around the natural teeth. While some patients find it hard to show teeth while smiling, others complain of showing off too much of their teeth and gum tissue when wearing dentures. This is caused by an excess of plastic resin in the area above the upper teeth, which pushes the lip upward and outward to reveal more of the mouth.

Difficulties Speaking

Don't give up on being able to pronounce clear S and C noises again just because you're wearing dentures. An overly thick palate interferes with tongue movement at the top of the mouth, making it hard to speak clearly even after months of practice. A long-term speech issue is worth having your dentures remade or at least reshaped by a professional.