If you've just started using dentures, there are all kinds of new concerns that might seem a little overwhelming, ranging from avoiding yeast infections to loss of skin elasticity around the mouth. These can all be easily avoided with proper care of your dentures and gums, but one problem that is often overlooked is the subject of denture adhesives—which one is right for you? Should you trust in the leading brands? Should you be using it at all? 

The most important thing, of course, is to make sure your new dentures fit properly -- using an adhesive is no substitute for poorly adjusted dentures. If your dentures fit properly and feel relatively comfortable in your mouth, you might choose to forgo using one. This sidesteps the tiresome business of cleaning excessive adhesive off of dentures, and also avoids the change in your natural biting motion that adhesives may cause. However, this is often not a feasible option, especially if you have dentures in the roof of your mouth. 

There are innumerable brands and formulations of adhesive to choose from out there. Thankfully, they boil down into three main types:

Powder adhesive

The traditional choice, powder adhesives should be applied evenly and very thinly over the areas where your dentures contact your gums. Their main advantage is that this sparse application of powder makes no noticeable change to your biting motion, avoiding the pain and tooth wear associated with occlusion. It also makes the adhesive virtually unnoticeable, giving you much more comfort for long periods of wear.

However, for these powders to work they are by necessity water-soluble, which presents a reliability problem. Your mouth's natural production of saliva means that powders lose effectiveness more quickly than other choices, particularly in the bottom of the mouth where more saliva tends to gather. In more severe cases, you may have to reapply powder during the course of the day (making sure to clean off the old powder first), which can be an embarrassing inconvenience

Paste adhesives

These are generally a coloured or transparent gel, and, generally speaking, provide a stronger, more reliable grip than traditional powders. This makes them particularly desirable for those people who use bottom-jaw dentures, where the aforementioned saliva buildup, combined with increased movement and smaller gum surface area, necessitates a stronger adhesive.

However, there are a number of issues associated with paste usage, chief among which is the way they often change the contours of the mouth and cause an unnatural bite. Applying paste in a thin enough layer to avoid this can be very difficult, and dentures raised above the surrounding teeth can damage other teeth, the gums beneath the dentures and the dentures themselves (and you know they don't come cheap). They are also more likely to collect food particles and other mouth detritus, which can become unsanitary and an easy avenue for gum and yeast infections if not cleaned properly.

Adhesive tapes

A relatively new addition to the market, adhesive tapes are essentially strips of solid adhesive that are stuck to the dentures and dissolve inside the mouth, leaving behind a thin, strong layer of adhesive. They are very easy to apply, and can be as reliable as a powder if a good brand of tape is applied properly. They are also less noticeable than other choices, and easier to apply while out of the house.

Sadly, they are only really suitable for usage on lower jaw dentures, as they are not properly shaped for the top gums. They can also be a nightmare to clean off your dentures at the end of the day, depending on your brand.

For more information, speak to a dentist, such as Emergency Denture Repairs.