Is She Allergic to Her Dentures?

Can you help me? I recently received dentures. When I first wore them, I started getting some redness around my eyes and swollen glands. I continued wearing them and went back for a fitting. I am really pleased with how they fit, but the awful symptoms got worse. After a few days, I started having trouble breathing and my entire face was swollen. I discontinued the dentures for a week and the symptoms subsided. When I started them back, within one day the symptoms had returned. I don’t want to give up these dentures because they fit so well. Is there anything that can be done?


Dear Miranda,


You are definitely allergic to these dentures. I would stop wearing them until you can figure out exactly what you are allergic to. You can go to an allergist and have this evaluated.

Do not mess around with an allergy. You have already had some difficulty breathing. You do not want this to turn life threatening.

There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that you are allergic to the monomer used in the acryllic. This can be dealth with.  The acryllic begins in the liquid form when it is being used in dentures. That is a monomer. Then, a chemical reaction is used to harden it into a solid polymer. Some of the monomer is always leftover in the chemical reaction. You may remember about leftover reactants from your chemistry study days in high school or college.

If that is what you are allergic to, then you can immerse the denture in very hot water for several hours to complete the process from monomer to polymer.

If you are allergic to something else used to build the denture, then there are other materials that can be used, including other resins.  Though, in those cases the denture will have to be remade. Hopefully, if it comes to that your dentist can make sure it fits as well as the first one.

I want to give an additional word of caution. I don’t know if your dentist warned you about facial collapse when wearing completely removable dentures, but I would take this time when you are at a crossroads with your denture to learn about that so you can make as informed a decision as possible. The solution to that would be dental implants combined with dentures.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.