First look in mirror with no teeth.....

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I was curious as to everyone's reaction the first time they saw their face in the mirror with no teeth. I had done tons of googling about dentures, extractions, etc before the procedure and was quite horrified at the images online of what the inside of the mouth would like like post op. I reassured myself and figured I'd cross that road when I got to it. I vividly remember the fear I felt the first day I had to remove the immediates myself to swish with salt water and clean the dentures. I stood there sweating and shaking with fear ready to face a mouthful of holes, possibly blood, stitches etc... I got them out ok, gently placed them in a cup of water and surveyed the damage. Yup....potholes, some blood, and lots of zig zagged yellow stitching, overall, pretty much what I was expecting. I felt instant relief and was actually proud of myself for crossing that hurdle. Then horror struck.....I looked up in the mirror at my face, mouth closed.....OMG,OMG,OMG!!!!!!!!! My face looked collapsed! I was by no means prepared for THAT! I immediately went to tears and just fell apart, totally horror struck! I was totally appalled at the image looking back at me. My mouth and lips felt like floppy uncontrollable rubber! I looked like a hound dog with floppy jowls and when I tried to speak gibberish came out instead of words. What had I done? I looked 20 years older! What would my husband think?

I am bringing this matter up to warn all of those about to step into the denture process. I've been following along on this message board since just before my extractions a little more than a month ago and had never seen a post about this particular subject. Honestly just the mental acceptance of having to get dentures was hard enough, never mind the fear of extractions, appearance with new "teeth", pain etc..... I mean logically speaking I should have anticipated "the collapsed" look of my appearance but with so many other things racing through my mind before the extractions and post op, I was totally unprepared for this. My self esteem was crushed! Yup....my plastic smile looked better than my original teeth but without them in I looked like hell. I also wasn't prepared for having to speak to the dentist and assistants without teeth as they made adjustments, or trying to answer the phone when my teeth were soaking. Forming words without teeth is extremely difficult and frustrating!

As I have said its been over a month for me now. Due to a problem with the original immediates I was given I had to stop wearing them while new ones are being made. I was forced to see my toothless face on a regular basis, answer the phone and speak to people regularly without teeth. The muscles around your mouth get stronger daily and words become easier. The muscles also seem to strengthen up and the collapsed look isn't as bad.... Things do get better! My warning though, especially to the much younger folks......be prepared for this .....your teeth support your lips and face.....
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Kelly

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Posted 4 years ago

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Fyllis

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Kelly,

Thank you so much for this report! I am sure there are a lot of people who weren't expecting what they saw 'afterward'.

Personally, I didn't have the 'collapsed face' but, that could be because I still have 10 teeth on the bottom in the back (5 on each side). However, I have to say, when I took my dentures out the first time here at home I couldn't stop laughing! OMG! I was making faces at myself in the mirror and talking to myself and watching all the contortions my face was going through! LOL

I am SO not a vain person.  Perhaps because I was a nurse for 22 years and I have seen more things than the law allows, I wasn't as 'offended' by my appearance as some people might be? I know that when my dentures are in, I look so much better and different than before.

Being without teeth from time to time is something that I am going to experience so, it is something I have to learn to deal with and except. I'm not afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to have other people see me without my teeth. If they liked me before with my old and ugly teeth, and they like me now with my new teeth, they damned well better accept me when I give them the occasional gummy grin I might flash! LOL

I've said in other posts, 'Positive attitude brings positive results', and I truly believe that. So, instead of focusing on what you look like to others without your teeth, focus on what you look like (and FEEL) to yourself with your new smile! Learn to accept yourself and others will accept you in like.

I'm not afraid to go without make-up; I'm not afraid to be seen with hairy legs. I'm not afraid to be seen with my hair twisted up in a knot or a ponytail; and I am not afraid to be seen with my teeth. I am still the same person now as I was before.... and I like me!

Fyllis


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charlid61

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It took me 3.5 weeks before I could start trying food.  It was 5 weeks before I could eat whatever I wanted.  Soft foods up to that point.  Do salt water rinses several times a day.  It will help with the soreness and any swelling.  Introduce food slowly.  Some things you will be able to do right away, others will take longer.
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Koralman

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The salt water rinses help with pain? That’s great. I will start up again. Thanks. Day 6 here. Upper and lower.
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Rachel Barrow

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My mouth is so bad I can’t eat. I can’t afford dentures. I work but don’t have the money and I have no insurance. I’m on a laxative because I can’t chew so I’m constapated all the time.my photo is horrible but I need to show it. I got my 11 year old dentures in they are worn to the grave. Please help!
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Rachel Barrow

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Kylie Oughton

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Your posts are a lot of help, my teeth are terrible i no they will fall out any day but i cant bring myself to the dentist.
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Nomoreteeth

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I believe your comment fulfills the majority of individuals that experience total extraction, BUT NOT ALL! Having had inferior teeth all of my adult life, when the dentist finally accepted my request for extraction, seeing me that day and now almost five years later, is a positive event.

I walked out of my dentist office without dentures. I sat in my car using various mirrors just looking how great I look without teeth; tears of joy were present. Now with almost 5 years in this situation, I readily leave my dentures behind. I've been told by numerous people that my normal look without dentures is not significant to alter anyone's viewpoint. I enjoy the feeling of having nothing in my mouth but realize specific times they must be present (eating & business) but never find my image in the mirror offensive. My naked smile is good for me!
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Patti Howard Greene

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They started pulling my teeth in june so slowly my face was sunken in only had the Last six on top left in January when they had my dentures ready it was weird seeing my self with teeth in when I got my new teeth that's what was so crazy.but I won't go out of the house with out my teeth now.
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Kath

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I have had ugly teeth my whole life. I feel just like you. Someone recently commented on my new dentures and what a lovely smile.
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Fyllis

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There you go!

It's just a matter of how one person reacts opposed to another.

I know a girl who called off work on a Monday because she didn't have time to 'wash the grey' out of her hair over the weekend! Did she really believe no one noticed her miniscule grey hair on Friday?

What happens when situations arise that might affect your otherwise 'normal' appearance that you have no control over ... like, getting a wrinkle or a zit? At least you can put your dentures in and show yourself to the world.

Yea, it was surprising when I saw myself in the mirror; It was a drastic change to what I looked like before. The only tears I shed were due to laughter!  But I guess I have too many more prominent worries on my plate than to worry over how other people perceive me.

So, here I am for all the world to see... Before, After, and In Between!  I hope this makes you laugh!

Fyllis

   
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charlid61

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Beautiful!!
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Rachel Barrow

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They look great! Makes me cry because my mouth looks like your before.
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Rachel Barrow

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Carla Johnson

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Did anyone having trouble keeping your botyom denture in? Mine will not even hold with glue.
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Landon S Johnson

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Everyone... from what I have read. Gotta be patient - hard to hit a moving target.
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Mara Jane Fisk

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My "toothless" look was not so shocking to me because my grandmother (Mom's mom) lived with us and she had dentures from my first memory of her.  So, I grew up seeing her without her teeth and it wasn't such a traumatic experience when I went through it myself.
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Kath

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I had several aunts, uncles, etc with dentures. I never saw any of them toothless. That is my goal. I do remember seeing dentures in a cop in the bathroom.
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Stephanie

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Considering I'm having 17 teeth removed in two days, am extremely scared about my appearance, I don't think this helped me as much as others. I shouldn't have read such a discriptive piece on what's in store for me. My bad. I think I'm off the boards until after my procedure.
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Kath

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I had all my teeth pulled and intermediate dentures put in immediately. Thank goodness I have not had any serious problems. I learned a lot here. Hang in there. You have lots of people pulling in here for you. Some days I come here 2 or 3 times just to visit.
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Sherri Flo

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Hi im thinking about doing this but im so scared an i need it done, how was u able to get immediate dentures put in?? Was it right after or a few days later?
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Ramona Montes Braxton

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Sherri, you can have them put in immediately after you get your teeth pulled. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. However , you cannot take them out for a few days or they will not go back in. You have to sleep with them in.(because of the swelling) If you take the other way you will have to wait about 3 to 4 weeks for dentures I was told.
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Pam

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My dentist had my dentures ready & waiting when I went in to have my teeth pulled.  I'm about 10 months out and am soooo happy!  I have never liked my teeth and they just kept getting worse the older I got.  I smile with my mouth open now and I love my teeth!  Still only soft liner until August.  The liner made all the difference in the world.
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SierraM

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My story is a tad different. I am younger (32) I have always had ugly teeth. Recently I discovered a disorder that caused me to begin having issues with my teeth. After the rapid loss of the teeth, I finally was approved for a denture. However, the only Doctor in my area who would work with my insurance requires I have extractions this week & wait for 8-10 weeks before getting my denture. I am having 15 teeth extracted. 
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Kelly

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Stephanie,
Don't be afraid. I was so worried about my appearance with new teeth that I really hadnt thought about what I would look like with no teeth. I was worried sick ...would they be white enough ? Would they be the right size and shape? etc..... I overthought that aspect of the situation and hadn't given any thought to what my appearance would be WITH OUT teeth at all. I wrote this post so others wouldn't be caught totally off guard as I was. I'm sure you read the wonderful posts by the others.....everyone's reaction to their new naked mouth is different. Some were quite humorous! I can tell you with no reservation that I would not want my old teeth back and that my mouth feels healthier and cleaner than ever. I'm about a month and a half in to this process and I am still adjusting to my new appearance. It takes times. Please stay on the boards, the amount of support here is incredible.
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Jay

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I hate to say it, but I won't look at myself.  When I go to my boyfriends for the night, I'm taking them out after he falls asleep, then slipping into the bathroom at 4:30 am to put them back in.  I wish I were more comfortable and I know my boyfriend wouldn't mind at all. I hope to get over this some time soon. 

To be honest, I have not even told anyone I got dentures.  
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Snake Charmer

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Please, tell your boyfriend!  If he pushes you away, that's his loss.  Some things are better without teeth.  I won't go into detail but some of you may know what I'm talking about.  ;)
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Kath

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Everyone knows about my dentures, but I have not gone without them yet. Of course my husband has seen, but after 50 years of marriage he has seen worse.
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Patti Howard Greene

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Jay things will get better in ur own time.I don't tell people I have them.and don't go anywhere it they have been taken out for the night.
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Joseph D

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I have to say that I was never prepared for what to expect with my teeth gone and the new dentures. I was so stunned and humiliated and embarrassed the first day that I just wanted t go home and end it all.I could not believe that I had agreed to do such a thing. I had lost faith in my dentist early on and was not sure if I should go forward or not. I did not have much choice as I had already paid him 6 grand! I feel like I was taken advantage of and now am my dentist's cash cow. I don't let anyone see me ever with out my "trial teeth".. the adjustments are still being done and I am so frustrated. I feel so embarrassed every time I look in the mirror. I don't even want to see how I look. I hear that my dentist has done a good job. I don't know, I don't believe it.what a horrible experience this has been.
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Cathy Shallow

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Give it time.  You cannot go back, it is what it is.  I'm only 2 weeks in and it IS a struggle, but we are all in the same boat.  I truly believe that in time, we will all look back with gratitude for our new smiles.  It is not an easy transition at all and I completely understand your frustration.  Hang tough, Joseph.  It WILL get better.
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Sherri Flo

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OMG IM SORRY TO HEAR THAT,,,NOW IM REALLY SCARED
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Stephanie

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I removed mine for the first time after getting them three days ago. 17 extractions, some gum snipping here and there. Lot of stitches. I was really scared to do it but got them out, cleaned, and in with no issues.

My face looked no different without teeth than it does with them. Nothing was sunken, or misshapen. Just me. Gums looked like gums. There was nothing terrifying about it so if you're about to try it , don't let it freak you out. It can be a little sore going back in on raw tissue but it was mild for me. Good luck.
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depressed

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Does anyone still get on here? Noticed most comments were from yrs ago. I'm 32 and go to the dentist tomorrow to set up a mold appointment for the full upper denture. Very scared! I was told at 18 all my teeth needed removed, but I ended up getting root canals and now all of them have failed. I am afraid I will look silly and the teeth will look so fake :( that or I won't be able to get use to wearing them.. oh and then I think about if my bf of 7 years will still love me or be attracted to me. I HAVE been so upset this past month I feel sick all the time and depressed. My teeth are all I think about :( I never had a chance to have a pretty smile. Never got to go to a dentist until I was 18 and it was too late. Pretty sure I need a denture for my bottoms too but was hoping he would let me do a partial for now.
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charlid61

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Yes.  We still use this site.  The current new/comments are mixed in with older posts. Think of it as a journey.  A journey to better health because your teeth affect your overall health.  It will take some adjustment and some of it will be hard but in the end you will have a healthy mouth and a great new smile.  Go slowly.  Don't expect to be able to eat a steak right away but if you give yourself time to heal you will do just fine.  Your new teeth will look different to you because of what you are used to seeing as your normal mouth.  Don't be discouraged. People will notice what a great smile you have.  I hope this helps.  Please keep us updated on your progess.  
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barbara

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October 2016 I had all my top teeth pulled & a denture put in immediately.
The pain wasn't bad, but the denture had to come out because I was bleeding badly.
So a day or two later, back in they went.  They looked OK.  Didn't take all that much to get used to, I just hated the idea of them.  
Fast forward to April 2018.  I get my permanent denture.  It's twice the size of the temp.  But boy does it look good!  Yes, it's taking adjustments.  I have a sore spot (very sore).  Not to pat myself on the back.....but I really do look younger!!  
As for looking in the mirror without them?  Nope.  Still haven't done it.  
And I'm still trying to learn to smile, because I hadn't done it in YEARS.  
Better days are coming.  Turn your back at the bathroom mirror.  You really don't have to look.  Stock up on SeaBonds and Secure and especially OraJel.....including the mouthwash.  
This too shall pass.
May the 4th be with you.
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charlid61

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It's tough to brush your mouth  with your back to the mirror
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Sharon Ferguson

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I have one tooth on top and 7 on front bottom i am petrified of a dentist but i know i need to go. My question is im on medicare and medicaid do either one cover dentures . I am 54
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goughy

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Just been thinking about this the last couple of days. I reckon I agree about 15 years, and look like a long haired version of the old dude from the movie 'Up'. Now just need to get my cranky on ;)
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Mara Jane Fisk

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I wish the dental profession would get together and get on the same page about how long to leave the dentures in initially.  So many of you tell very different stories about what your dentist told you to do.  I also think dentists need to be encouraged to spend just a few more minutes giving instructions, either that or train an assistant to do so.  That was one of my biggest complaints is that I've had to dig all over the place, including here, to get information to help me deal with these "appliances." 
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Edwina Benedix

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People tell me I will get used to my dentures and not even think about them...They will become a natural part of me......6 months have passed and I still have my dentures on my mind 24/7....I am not kidding...thinking about them all of my waking hours....Will it ever get better.....


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Kath

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Yes. For me anyway, I try to focus on other things, game, tv program. And I feel I can smile.
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Stephanie

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That's too bad. I got mine, just uppers, in March and am doing well. They are incredibly loose of course since they're technically temporary, but with the polident strips they stay in place really well and I can eat anything. It crosses my mind a couple times a day but I actually do forget 90% of the time.

What exactly is it that's causing you an issue? The looks, the fit, comfort level? Just having them? It's been months and I have never once looked at the inside of my mouth. Not one glance, so I know how hard it is to accept.
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Edwina Benedix

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Thanks for replying Stephanie...My main issue is my mouth feels so full and I gulp for air, and then there is the gagging....There seems to be so much build-up on the front of the denture..and  I have to stretch my upper lip over it...then I look like a blowfish..then the back of the denture on both sides is irritating....Feels so uncomfortable all the time....never have a minute that I am not thinking about my mouth...that just isn't right....My dentist said I am going to be one of the people that cannot wear dentures....and implants are out of the question financially... .There is something called a snap-on denture that might help...but again it is rather expensive.....The only good thing is being unable to eat much... I have lost 20 lbs...but I would gladly add the 20 lbs back on if it would make me quit thinking about my mouth 24/7....Have a great day and thanks again....


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goughy

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Have you had a hard reline done on your dentures? I had mine done about a month ago. Prior my denture did feel very thick, and seemed like it was really pushing my front lip out etc. After getting it back from its hard reline, it is much thinner and doesn't push out my lip as much.
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Edwina Benedix

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Yes, just had a reline done last week.....doesn't seem to help....people tell me I just have to get used to having dentures...and will forget I even have them in time....but I don't think so...on my mind 24/7...Thanks much for your reply..


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Stephanie

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To me it sounds like the fit is not correct. I never gagged, or felt any fullness in my mouth. It was uncomfortable, a foreign sensation, and at the time I wondered if I'd ever get used to something covering the roof of my mouth but within two months I was pretty used to it. Even right now, the front of my upper teeth and the "gum" above it is hard to tell it isn't natural by poking around with my tongue. I never had any issues with it feeling too built up as you say. I had some sore spots initially, had three adjustments where they shaved it down a bit and that was it.

I'm seriously wondering if it wasn't made incorrectly for your mouth. I'm one of the lucky ones as I had few issues with mine and had actually had it made two years previously but chickened out getting my uppers removed. Having a good fitting denture, not too big in places, seems to be one of the biggest issues those who have problems site the cause as. I realize there is the expense but saving up and going somewhere else to have it made could be an option. I'd certainly consider it if I had the same experience as you have.
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charlid61

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I did feel fullness for a while but I did not gag.  As the months went on and my gums shrank, the fit was much better and now my mouth doesn't feel full at all.  I think about them when I eat because there are still some foods I have not mastered yet and sometimes I put too much food in but I am adjusting,   
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Kath

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My thoughts exactly as above.
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Edwina Benedix

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Thanks for the reply Stephanie....I have questioned the denture itself...pointing out to the dentist that it doesn't seem centered...when looking in a line from center of front teeth to the back of the denture it seems to me that the palate turns, so when inserted it seems to twist sideways...also, one side is perfect but the other side seems to flare out (also, this side had a tooth that was flat and  sharp...didn't match the other teeth) I wondered if maybe it was removed before it was completed with whatever the process is for making dentures....Nice hearing from you again.....
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Stephanie

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Getting them to admit there is an issue with it seems to be a problem. Maybe you could get in with someone else, someone with a free consultation if that's an issue and have them look at your denture and mouth. Just a second opinion.
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Rosie

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We are so sorry to hear about all of the issues you have had with your new dentures, Edwina. How frustrating! Stephanie has been giving you some great tips and advice. We wanted to just add a on to her replies, if you both don't mind.

Many new denture wearers get that "full-mouth" feeling they are too big or that your lips are being pushed forward. This is common and will decrease as you get used to wearing your dentures. Ensure that you wear your dentures as much as possible to help your muscles adjust to holding them in place.

As Stephanie mentioned, since the problems have gone on so long it may be time for a free consultation to give you peace of mind, if you can find one. If you can't find that for free, the best opportunity to receive low cost dentures may be to seek care from a dental school in your area, as they sometimes have clinics that provide low-cost and discounted services at the care of dental students. If there isn't a school in your area, you can try contacting your local dental society to ask whether they have any programs for low cost services. 

Wishing you a pain free weekend! ~Rosie

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Edwina Benedix

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Thanks Rosie....I appreciate your response....I have a dentist in mind that I might see if things don't get better...I am so glad that I found this site....at least I know I am not alone...Thanks much.....


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Rosie

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Edwina, so glad to hear you have that in your back pocket, if needed. We are so glad you found this also. You are very welcome and you are definitely NOT alone! Please keep us posted on how everything is going. :) ~Rosie
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kevin

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get a second opinion
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Edwina Benedix

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Thanks for your reply Kevin....I thinks a second opinion is what I really need at this point.


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Torey Boltz

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I cried...6 months later I am very happy ....its hell without them
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Edwina Benedix

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I'm glad to hear that after 6 months you are happy....It's been 6 months for me with no improvement....I just can't get used to them...hoping to get implants someday...but that is way off in the future....Thanks much for your reply....


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Rosie

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You poor thing, Edwina. :( Will you be going in for the second opinion soon? ~Rosie