Ask a Dentist: What Is Relining in Denture Repair?

Denture Adjustments and Repairs Fort Lee, NJ

Ensuring dentures continue to function in a comfortable manner often requires denture repair along the way. It is possible for dentures to get broken after being dropped on the floor or by chewing food that is too hard. Dentures may wear down gradually with increased use. Gum tissue changes as people age, which may cause dentures to become misaligned and form incorrect bites. All of these changes require denture alterations, but the type of repair depends on the problem.

Relining fundamentals

Relining is a common process in denture repairssince it can rematch a denture with someone’s mouth without replacing much material. Here are the basics of relining and how it may affect a patient’s denture treatment.

Relining defined

Relining is the process of fitting dentures with a new lining material. This material is what snuggly fits the denture to the gum tissues of the mouth. If those tissues change over time or if discomfort occurs, the lining can be removed and replaced with one that fits correctly.

Problems created by ill-fitted liners

When the lining of the dentures does not fit the gum tissue, it can cause irritation and inflammation. This may produce pain and discomfort where the dentures rub against the gums, and sores may appear in the mouth. It can also influence the motion of the bite, causing teeth to strike against one another at wrong angles. Extra pressure in new areas may weaken teeth.  

Types of relining

Relining is an umbrella term for three different kinds of processes. The kind a patient needs is determined by how worn out the lining is and what discomfort it is causing.  

Hard reline

Hard relining generally occurs once every few years to ensure any changes in the mouth are reflected in the mold of the dentures. An impression of a patient’s mouth is taken with putty and the mold is used to create a new lining that correctly matches it to ensure greater stability. Sometimes these linings can be made in the dentist’s office, or the mold may be sent to a lab for the lining’s creation.

Soft reline

Soft relining is designed with a gentler, more flexible material that still does not need to be replaced for several years. It can be used for patients who have sensitive mouths and gums that easily get sores when rubbed. Soft relining is durable while creating added cushioning for comfort.

Temporary reline

This type of relining procedure may be necessary if denture repair has been bypassed for a significant amount of time. Someone who has not had their dentures serviced in a while may have swollen or inflamed gums that interfere with taking a reliable impression of the patient’s mouth. Temporary relines are made from pliable materials that allow swelling to go down while still securing the dentures in place. Once swelling has receded, new permanent dentures can be made.


Dentures can be essential for basic daily activities, and taking care of them through various forms of denture repair may be necessary for keeping them in good condition. Ask a dentist about relining to fix or prevent any discomfort.

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