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My Aunt is 86. In the past years she took a fall, and ended up having hospitalization with surgery, extensive rehab im-patient and out. During this time she lost a bunch of weight. Took her to the dentist because her dentures were bothering her. Dentist said, it doesn't fit right because she lost weight. Once she puts the weight back on, the denture will be fine. I'm not a dentist., but don't gums shrink, just like the rest of the body when you get older? Do you think I should take her to a Prosthodontist (dental specialist) for a second opinion?

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My sister who is aged was cleaning out her dentures. She dropped the bottom denture and it broke in half. She needs a replacement but she has been told that neither Medi-Cal nor Medicare will cover the cost and she has no money to replace it. Any ideas or suggestions that might help are welcome.
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Lots of good reasons for everyone to take care of their teeth and avoid dentures in old age. i know it is expensive but if you live close to a dental school you may be able to get free or low cost dentistry by well supervized students.
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Gums change when a person gains or loses weight. The gums can shrink with age and bone changes can also cause ill fitting dentures. My dad's dentures don't fit correctly any more so he only wears the bottom denture to eat and when he goes out shopping. He's had them relined but over time that wears too. He paid a large amount for his dentures hoping they would work and fit better. He hasn't been pleased with them from the start. He uses both denture powder and cream to keep his dentures in place. There are other items on the market that she would find useful. I understand it's difficult to enjoy food with ill fitting dentures.
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Worth a second opinion but putting weight back on at that age in unlikely. just do the best you can. Bone and gums do reshape as we get old but I would go with what cwilley says.
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She could try having them relined, which might help, but the oral surgeon told my mother that she actually had a loss of bone in her jaw and that relining, in his opinion, would not help. He also told my mother to just wear them when eating to avoid more wear on the gums ( but she will not go around with no teeth, and I can't blame her)
I would definitely say to take her to an oral surgeon, because they have more experience with loss of bone and ill fitting dentures than a general dentist would have.
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Pam, that happened to my Mom, she would only put in her partial dentures if she was going to eat something. And as soon as she was finished eating, even if it was just a cookie, out came the dentures. She had been doing that for 40 years. Now she has to use Poligrip strips because there isn't anything more her dentist can do for her... he's been so very patient with her over all these years :)
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If dentures are not worn daily, the gums reshape and are no longer perfectly aligned to the denture. You can buy a soft relining kit or ask the prosthodonist to do this for you.
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I also struggled with this for my mom, not only with her dentures but her hearing aids as well. You will have to weigh the pros and cons of further treatment. If she is still able to eat well then she needs her teeth to fit and be comfortable. Can she sit through the fittings for new dentures? Can she afford it? You may be able to have her current plate relined, or you may be able to make do with denture adhesives. At 86 the idea that she will put the weight back on seems pretty unlikely, especially if she is becoming frail.
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