Genesis Dental

Cosmetic DentistryCan Dentures Be Fitted to Receding Gums?
Serene holding up dentures which can be fit to receding gums

Can Dentures Be Fitted to Receding Gums?

Yes, it is generally possible to be fitted for dentures even if you have receding gums.

For over a decade, I’ve created dentures for many patients with receding gums, but numerous factors must be considered.

If you’ve been wondering can dentures be fitted to receding gums, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Quick Summary

  • Healthy gums are ideal but dentures can be fitted to receding gums in most cases
  • I fit dentures to receding gums by addressing any oral health concerns first
  • Receding gums can be a result of advanced gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, age, and tobacco use
  • Challenges of fitting dentures to receding gums include how much gum tissue is left and taking measures to avoid discomfort and poor fit
  • Poorly fitting dentures can cause complications such as irritation, speaking or eating difficulties, and further gum damage
  • If there is not enough healthy gum tissue or jaw density left, denture alternatives such as implant-supported dentures, partial dentures, gum grafting, or dental implants may be a better option

How Are Dentures Fitted to Receding Gums?

An ideal candidate for dentures will have adequate gum tissue and healthy jaw structure that can support the false teeth.

If your gums are receding, denture fittings will require careful consideration and additional planning. Still, I’ve successfully fitted many patients with dentures despite their gum recession.

Before fitting dentures to receding gums, my first step is always correcting any oral health issues before proceeding.

What Type of Dentures Can Be Used for Gum Recession?

Dentures may be worn just on the top of the mouth, just the bottom, or both the bottom and the top. The best denture for you will depend on your gum health, overall oral health, your personal preferences, and how many teeth you have remaining.

You May Also Like: How to Tell the Difference Between Good Dentures and Bad Dentures

Challenges with Fitting Dentures to Receding Gums

Fitting dentures to receding gums presents a variety of challenges and considerations. Each patient’s situation is unique and requires a solution tailored to their oral health and dental goals.

Receding gums can have a significant impact on denture fit. Here are the possible complications of trying to fit dentures for a patient with receding gums.

  • Changes to the Bone and Gum Structure — Gum recession can cause changes to the mouth’s natural contours and the structure of the jaw bone. When gum tissue is reduced or jawbone density is decreased, the ridge where dentures sit can become thinner. This leads to compromised fit and decreased stability.  
  • Poor Fit — If the stability of dentures is compromised, the dentures may become loose while eating, shift around, and even cause further gum recession to due irritation.
  • Functional Issues — If gum tissue diminishes support for dentures, the dentures may feel loose and shift around. This can make it difficult to enunciate words or eat certain foods.
  • Self-Confidence Concerns — Poor denture fit can also make you less confident in public settings if you are worried about your dentures sliding around or coming loose.
  • Discomfort — Fitting dentures to a patient with gum recession without first fixing oral health issues and addressing the receding gums can lead to extreme irritation and discomfort. Poorly fitted dentures can shift around, leading to inflamed areas and sore or tender spots along the gumline

Factors to Consider Regarding Dentures and Gum Recession

The first step in fitting dentures in a patient with gum recession is identifying the cause of receding gums. Often, gum recession can be a result of gingivitis.

This is the advanced state of periodontitis (gum disease) where gum inflammation spreads to the bone that anchors teeth. This bone becomes damaged, allowing the gums to pull away and teeth to become loose.

Gum disease must be addressed before starting any cosmetic dental treatments. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to missing teeth, jawbone damage, and even health issues.

Once gum disease or any other underlying oral health issues are addressed, my next concern is how much healthy gum tissue is left.

Without adequate gum tissue and jaw bone density, a complete set of conventional dentures may not fit securely. In this case, an alternative to conventional dentures will provide a more effective, long-lasting solution.

Alternatives to Dentures If Needed

There are a variety of effective alternatives if you do not have enough gum for dentures. Here are some of the options I discuss with my patients if they are not a good candidate for dentures.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular alternative for individuals who are not good candidates for dentures. 

Unlike dentures, dental implants are not removable. Rather, dental implants are secured in the mouth using titanium screws placed in the jawbone. If you have damaged gum tissue or bone damage from periodontitis, I may recommend dental implants as a denture alternative.

Learn More: What Are Dental Implants and What Are the Different Types?

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are another possible denture alternative for individuals with gum recession. Implant-supported dentures are screwed into a titanium post rather than your actual jawbone, creating a stable foundation for dentures.

Implant-supported dentures offer enhanced stability and support, especially in individuals lacking adequate gum tissue or jaw structure. By relying on the sturdy implants rather than just gum tissue, patients can enjoy a secure fit, reduced risk of irritation and discomfort, and a long-lasting solution to missing teeth.


Am I a good candidate for dentures?

An ideal candidate for dentures will have adequate gum tissue and good jawbone structure. However, even if you have gum recession, I can still evaluate if dentures would be suitable for you.

The only way to know if you are a good candidate for dentures is through a consultation with a dental professional. I would be happy to meet with you and discuss any questions or concerns you have about getting dentures.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession, or receding gums, is a condition where the gums deteriorate and pull away from surrounding teeth. Receding gums can be a result of poor oral hygiene, aggressive tooth brushing age and periodontal disease:

How do I reduce my risk of receding gums?

Gum disease is an advanced form of gingivitis and one of the leading causes of gum recession. The most important step in protecting gum health and reducing your risk of gum disease is practicing a good oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups.

Risk factors of gum disease include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Using tobacco products
  • Not attending dental checkups for professional cleanings and care
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Age

Do partial dentures cause gum recession?

I’ve had quite a few patients worry that partial dentures can cause receding gums. Although this can be true if the partial dentures are poorly fitted, a quality set of well-fitted partial dentures will not cause gum recession.

However, if partial dentures cause gum irritation or inflammation, it is important to notify your dentist right away. The denture hooks may need to be readjusted to prevent complications.

Whether I’m creating a set of partial or full dentures, I always ensure a secure, stable, comfortable fit. Attending regular checkups also ensures the dentures continue fitting properly. When my patients come in for checkups with their partial dentures, I always monitor the health of their gums, how the dentures are fitting, and reposition the denture hooks if necessary.


Dentures can be fitted to receding gums in most cases if there is enough healthy gum tissue to support the dentures.

In some cases, I may opt to fit the patient with partial dentures or implant-supported dentures to ensure there is adequate stability and a good fit.

If you’re looking to fit dentures in Perth, visit our page to see our extensive list of frequently asked dentures questions.

You can also use our convenient online portal to book a complimentary consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for dentures.

Serene Ong

- Dr. Serene Ong -

Dentist at Genesis Dental

Dr. Serene Ong proudly obtained her Bachelor of Dental Science from University of Western Australia in 2012. She envisions it as a fundamental right for all, with an unwavering belief that every individual deserves access to oral health education. Gaining most of her experience in country private practice, she prioritises staying up to date on the latest advances in dentistry by attending continuing education courses.