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Denture Stomatitis: Tips on How to Prevent Infection
Denture stomatitis might sound a bit scary, but the good news is it can be treated easily and is easily preventable. Read on to learn what denture stomatitis is, what causes it, what its symptoms are, how to prevent it, and more!
In this article:
What is denture stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis, also known as oral thrush, is a yeast infection of the mouth. It’s mostly caused by a type of fungus called Candida, which lives in the mouth and most of the time doesn’t cause problems. Sometimes, though, Candida can build up and lead to inflammation of the gums, causing redness and soreness. But the good news is denture stomatitis is not contagious, so you can’t pass it on to someone.
What causes denture stomatitis, and who is more likely to get it?
When Candida and bacteria get out of control in your mouth, it can lead to denture-related stomatitis. This is because unpolished denture surfaces (as well as other orthodontic appliances) provide optimal conditions for Candida and bacteria to grow. So, the most common group of people to get denture stomatitis are denture wearers; but the truth is, it can affect anyone wearing orthodontic appliances covering the gums or palate.
You are more likely to get denture stomatitis if:
You wear dentures or orthodontic appliances, especially if you do not take your dentures out at night.
You do not keep dentures or appliances perfectly clean.
Your mouth is always dry.
You are taking certain types of antibiotics or using inhaled steroids or other forms of steroids.
You are receiving chemotherapy.
You are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, or folate.
You have uncontrolled diabetes.
You have a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV.
You consume a lot of sugar.
What are the symptoms of denture stomatitis?
You’re unlikely to notice any signs or symptoms, as denture stomatitis appears under the denture, so any signs may be hard to spot when you’re just looking head on into the mirror. It’s possible you may only know you have denture-related stomatitis when your dentist examines your mouth; however, when you remove your denture, you or your dentist may see an area that’s red or red and white under the denture.
You may experience these symptoms when you have denture stomatitis:
Red spots or patches beneath your denture
A sore mouth
Red, sore corners of your mouth
How to prevent denture stomatitis?
The best way to prevent and also treat denture stomatitis is by:
Maintaining good oral hygiene.
Maintaining good oral and denture hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing and managing denture stomatitis. Try to rinse your mouth and dentures after meals and keep your mouth as clean as possible.
Keeping your dentures as clean as possible.
Clean your dentures with a soft brush, and make sure to brush all the surfaces, including the surface that fits against your gums.
Soaking your dentures in a cleaning solution overnight.
Make sure you take your dentures out overnight and put them in a soaking solution. This will help remove any plaque or stubborn stains.
Rinsing your mouth out with water regularly if you use steroid inhalers.
Smoking encourages the growth of further yeast infections.
Having regular dental checkups.
Ill-fitting dentures can also cause irritation or allow food to get trapped between your gums and dentures, which can cause bacteria and Candida to grow more.
If you notice any symptoms, talk to your dentist to discuss any possible denture stomatitis treatment options. In some cases, if good oral hygiene and cleaning haven’t helped, your dentist may prescribe you some medication or treatment. This may be in the form of mouth wash, gel, or anti-fungal tablets or lozenges that you need to suck slowly, and you may need to follow the treatment for a month. A prescription for antibiotics is also possible.
In addition to Candida, a buildup of bacteria can also contribute to problems such as breath malodor, which is why anti-bacterial protection is important if you wear dentures. When bacteria build up in your mouth, they can form plaque and cause bad breath.
FAQs on denture stomatitis
How do you treat denture stomatitis?
Most of the time, good oral hygiene and keeping your dentures clean is enough to treat denture stomatitis, but your dentist may prescribe some medical treatment, usually in the form of a tablet or lozenge.
If you suspect denture stomatitis, see your dentist.
What causes denture stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis is due to an overgrowth of Candida in the mouth. Often, it’s caused by poor denture and oral hygiene.
What does stomatitis look like?
You or your dentist may notice the area under your denture is red or red with white patches.
What should I eat if I have stomatitis?
Try to keep your sugar intake down, as Candida loves sugar. Also, soft foods like mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, broths, yoghurt, and cottage cheese are good to eat if your mouth feels sore from denture stomatitis. Try to avoid highly acidic food or drinks (like orange juice) and spicy or crunchy foods.
Denture stomatitis is unpleasant but easily treatable; however, since most of the time it’s only diagnosed by your dentist, it’s important to keep regular checkups so that it’s easy to catch and treat. Keeping your dentures clean—and taking them out for the night—as well as good oral hygiene can both prevent and treat denture stomatitis.