Denture Stomatitis: What is it & How can it Be Prevented
Denture stomatitis (also known as denture sore mouth) refers to excessive pain, irritation, redness, and inflammation in the mouth. It can interfere with the patient’s ability to eat, sleep, or speak — making it a rather large inconvenience for affected patients.
Like many other oral health complications, denture stomatitis can be avoided with proper oral hygiene, care, and denture maintenance. Today, we’re going to examine how our patients can mitigate the risk of denture stomatitis, and what to do if it occurs.
How do I Know if I Have Denture Stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis can be characterized in several ways, although many symptoms may be minor — which can make it somewhat difficult to diagnose on your own. Some patients report general irritations, which can often be fixed with a denture reline or adjustment.
If you’re experiencing minor irritations, be sure to schedule an appointment so we can ensure your dentures fit as comfortably as possible.
In more severe cases, denture stomatitis may have the following symptoms:
- Canker sores
- Swollen or bloody gum tissue
- Dry mouth (xerostomia)
- Bad breath
- Irritated gums under the surface of the dentures
- Difficulty swallowing
Although many of these symptoms may appear in individuals with a complete set of natural teeth, dentures can cause further irritation — the presence of several of these symptoms could be indicative of denture stomatitis.
What Causes Denture Stomatitis?
One of the primary causes of denture stomatitis is a naturally occuring yeast called candida. When candida is allowed to build up, it can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums — making dentures sore and sometimes painful.
When dentures are loose or ill-fitted, they leave more space for bacteria and yeast to thrive. Poorly fitted dentures also tend to rub which further irritates and damages the gums.
Another cause of denture stomatitis is leaving the dentures in while you sleep. At the end of the day, your mouth and gums require rest. Sleeping without removing your dentures causes inflammation in the jaw — further exacerbating the issues caused by denture stomatitis.
Additionally, dentures left in the mouth overnight are probably not getting cleaned properly, which gives bacteria and yeast more opportunity to reproduce.
What Can I Do to Prevent Denture Stomatitis?
Luckily, denture stomatitis (and many other denture related issues) can be easily mitigated with a few easy steps.
1. Choose the Right Denture
The best thing you can do to avoid denture stomatitis is start by choosing the right denture. Your denturists will walk you through our many affordable options during your free consultation. A properly fitted denture will reduce discomfort and pain associated with shifting — and leave less room for bacteria and yeast.
2. Clean Your Dentures Regularly
Ideally, your dentures should be cleaned after every meal. Even a quick rinse after eating goes a long way to prevent the buildup of bacteria. At the very least, your dentures should be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the day with a soft bristled brush and denture-specific cleaning agent.
3. Remove Your Dentures Every Night
As we mentioned above, failing to remove the dentures every evening will cause irritation in the mouth and jaw, which causes further pain and inflammation. This should become a regular habit regardless of denture stomatitis.
Are Your Dentures Painful Uncomfortable?
If you’re a combination of the symptoms listed above, it may be time to visit The Denture & Implant Centre — we can assess your mouth and dentures to find the best solution for your oral health.