Understanding Denture Stomatitis

Posted on: 25 November 2015

Dentures are common for replacing missing teeth. Dentures, just like natural teeth, need to be cared for to avoid oral health problems. One of the conditions associated with dentures is dental stomatitis. If you recently got dentures, read on to understand what denture stomatitis is and how it is treated.

What is Denture Stomatitis?

The term stomatitis means a sore mouth. Denture stomatitis occurs when microbes develop on your denture. The microbes grow on the roof of your mouth and cause this area to turn red. The inflammation is painless and may spread to other parts of the mouth in which case it might be irritating and painful. Though there are several micro-organisms associated with stomatitis, the most predominant species is Candida- a yeast infection.

If you have an immune system disorder such as HIV or diabetes, your chances of getting denture stomatitis is very high. In some cases, stomatitis is a sign that you have an immune system disorder. People suffering from dry mouth conditions are also highly susceptible to stomatitis because their saliva's cleansing levels are reduced.

 Factors that Contribute to Dental Stomatitis

Poor Dental Hygiene

If you fail to exercise regular dental health, you are likely to get stomatitis. Lactobacillus and Candidaspecies stick to the surfaces of dentures and need to be removed on a daily basis through brushing and flossing.

Acrylic Dentures

The Candida species are attracted to acrylic resin and therefore people with acrylic dentures stand a high risk of getting stomatitis.

Denture Age

Old dentures are associated with stomatitis because they fit poorly and have a rough surface where the Candida species can hide.

Wearing a Denture Continuously

Dentists advice patients to remove dentures at night to aid in the cleansing role of saliva and to relax the muscles of the mouth. Failing to remove dentures at night presents an opportunity for the microbes to hide in strategic corners of the dentures and increases the risk of catching dental stomatitis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Denture Stomatitis

In most cases, denture stomatitis is detected by checking for swelling and redness in the roof of your mouth. The common treatment for stomatitis is cleaning the dentures chemically or mechanically. Your dentist will also check your dentures to determine whether they need to be refitted, realigned or replaced.

In chemical cleaning, the dentures are soaked overnight in one of the following solutions; sodium perborate, chlorhexidine digluconate, sodium hypochlorite, vinegar and enzymes like mutanases and proteases.

In mechanical cleaning, the dentures are brushed using dentrifice or neutral soap. It may also involve ultrasonic cleansing. Oral mouth washes like hexetidine are also known to reduce the side effects of stomatitis.