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It is a physical factor that affects the retention of a denture base. It is defined as "the physical attraction of unlike molecules to one another".

  • Saliva is present in between the denture base and the mucosa, and its contact with both these surfaces creates adhesion. It is achieved by ionic forces between the salivary glycoprotein and surface epithelium or acrylic resin.
  • It depends on:
  1. Close adaptation of denture.
  2. Size of denture bearing area.
  3. Type of saliva.
  • Adhesion also takes place directly between the denture base and mucosa in case of xerostomia (lack of saliva),but this leads to ulcerations and abrasions in the mucosa.

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