Hi, After almost a year of appointments I finally have a lower denture secured to dental implants. I can eat a little better, though am finding it hard to learn to chew again - but I expected that. I find wearing the denture affects my speech badly, I guess because my tongue had so much more room to move before. Now I feel like the right side of tongue (where flap is) is getting in the way of the denture. At the moment I am just using denture to eat then removing, not an ideal solution. Would a referral for speech therapy help?
Original Post
Hello Sheila

The lower complete denture works best if you can chew bilaterally. However, in my experience, a lower denture can cause some problems in a mouth with a restricted (resected) tongue:
(1) After surgery, the movement of the tongue is often restricted. The presence of the denture teeth creates a barrier over which the tongue needs to negotiate to dislodge food out of the space between cheek/lip and teeth. This can be a problem if the tongue movement is restricted. Squeezing the outer chhek against the lower denture helps shift the food back to the tongue.
(2) Swallowing requires the tongue making contact with the roof of mouth (palate). A restricted tongue is often unable to do this when teeth are present (they prop the palate away from the tongue). Shorter teeth or a palatal augmentation prostheses (PAP) are possible solutions.
(3) Speech requires certain contacts between tongue and upper teeth and so (2) applies. Might be helped by denture modification(reduced bulk), speech therapy and tongue exercises.

Sore spots can be eased by your dentist.

Hope that helps.

Best wishes

Vinod Coffee
Thanks for your reply, Robert. I followed Dr Joshi's advice and had the denture modified. My speech is now near perfect and eating much improved.

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