The Link Between Dentures and Stomatitis
Stomatitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the mucous membranes of the mouth, often seen in denture wearers. Studies show up to 65 percent of regular denture wearers may develop stomatitis due to poor denture hygiene, ill-fitting dentures, and underlying conditions like diabetes.
Our Longview, TX, dentist, Dr. Edward Hobbs, noticed that stomatitis can cause discomfort, risks, and complications for denture patients if left untreated. Proper denture care and regular dental visits at DentaCare Dental for assessment of fit can help prevent the development of stomatitis in most cases.
Causes and Risk Factors of Dentures Stomatitis
Several contributing factors can lead to the development of stomatitis in denture wearers:
- Poor Denture Hygiene: Insufficient cleaning allows plaque and bacteria to build up on denture surfaces, leading to inflammation and infection.
- Ill-Fitting Dentures: Improperly fitted dentures rub and cause trauma to the oral tissues, making them more prone to irritation.
- Candida Fungal Infections: Overgrowth of naturally occurring Candida fungus, exacerbated by denture plaque accumulate on poorly cleaned dentures.
- Age: People over 60 are at higher risk as the tissues become more sensitive.
- Smoking: Tobacco use increases vulnerability to oral infections and inflammation.
- Uncontrolled Diabetes: High blood sugar allows pathogens to grow and impairs the healing of inflammatory lesions.
- Immunodeficiency: Conditions that compromise the immune system make the mouth more susceptible to infections.
- Medications: Some drugs like immunosuppressants, antihistamines, and diuretics contribute to dry mouth and higher oral infection risks.
Signs and Symptoms of Stomatitis
Denture stomatitis exhibits several characteristic signs and symptoms:
- Erythema: Redness and inflammation of oral tissues under the dentures.
- Edema: Swelling and puffiness of the gums and mouth lining.
- Burning sensation: Patients may complain of a painful burning feeling, especially when wearing dentures.
- Bleeding: Easy bleeding when brushing the gums or palate.
- Ulcers: Development of canker sores or ulcers on the oral mucosa.
- Altered taste: Patients may notice changes in the taste of foods.
- Bad breath: Halitosis and foul odor may be present.
- Denture instability: Ill-fitting dentures may exhibit signs of looseness and rubbing due to inflammation.
- Difficulty eating/swallowing: Severe inflammation can make chewing and swallowing food uncomfortable.
Noticing any of these symptoms should prompt a dental visit for proper diagnosis and treatment of potential underlying stomatitis.
An oral examination by a dentist can help diagnose stomatitis. Our Longview dentist will check for redness or swelling under and around the denture-covered areas. Dr. Hobbs may take a sample swab from any ulcerated areas and test for an overgrowth of the candida fungus.
Assessing the fit and stability of the dentures along with the patient’s cleaning routine can help pinpoint factors that may be contributing to stomatitis. Dr. Hobbs can make recommendations to address any issues identified.
Denture Stomatitis Treatment
Treating the underlying cause is key to resolving stomatitis. For Candida infections, oral or topical antifungal prescription medication can help. Dentures will need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to help eliminate fungal overgrowth.
Dr. Hobbs advises patients to remove dentures overnight and brush and soak them every day. Ill-fitting dentures may require selective grinding or relining to improve adaptation.
Mouthwashes containing antiseptics like chlorhexidine can also help treat infections and inflamed tissues. Dr. Hobbs may also need to address lifestyle factors like smoking and managing diabetes.
Regular oral hygiene is vital to prevent the development of stomatitis.
- Clean your dentures over a sink filled with water to avoid breakage if dropped.
- Brush all surfaces with a special denture cleaning paste at least once daily.
- Thoroughly rinse your dentures and then soak them in a denture cleaning solution or diluted bleach water for 20 minutes daily. This helps remove debris and kill candida overgrowth.
- Take your dentures out at bedtime and keep them dry overnight.
Our Longview dentist recommends having regular dental visits to catch any issues early and have dentures adjusted, relined, or rebased as needed for a proper fit. Controlling risk factors like diabetes is also important prevention
Outlook and Complications
With proper treatment, most cases of denture stomatitis can be cleared up. However, recurrence is common if hygiene isn’t maintained and ill-fitting dentures aren’t corrected. Severe and prolonged cases can lead to mouth pain, difficulty eating, and malnutrition.
The majority of the patients see improvement in their symptoms within a few weeks of starting treatment. You can avoid complications from stomatitis when you adopt proper at-home denture hygiene and regular dental care.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for stomatitis to develop?
It can develop rapidly within days or weeks if precipitating factors like poor hygiene are present. It may also develop slowly over months. Dentists stress the importance of following good oral hygiene habits and getting your dentures to get properly fitted and maintained during your routine visits.
Can I just take an over-the-counter antifungal medicine to treat stomatitis?
While antifungal creams may help, it’s best to see your dentist to confirm stomatitis and rule out other causes. You may need prescription antifungal medication.
Is stomatitis more common with partial or full dentures?
Stomatitis can occur with both partial and full dentures. However, it’s more frequently seen with full upper dentures due to the larger surface area. It’s essential to get a proper fit and do a good oral hygiene routine.
Can changing my diet help prevent stomatitis?
A balanced diet is important for overall health, but no specific foods have been proven to prevent stomatitis. Avoiding excess sugar may help curb candida growth.
Take Action to Prevent Denture Stomatitis
If you wear dentures, be vigilant about proper oral hygiene and care to avoid developing stomatitis. Don’t ignore the warning signs of stomatitis. With proper prevention and early treatment, you can avoid discomfort and continue enjoying your dentures. Contact our Longview office at (903) 309-2142 today to discuss any denture concerns.
You can also book your appointment online. DentaCare Dental welcomes new and returning patients in the Longview area and surrounding areas of Marshall, Gladewater, Lakeport, and Kilgore, TX. We look forward to meeting you!