Many people wear dentures to replace their own teeth which they have lost due to disease or accident. In general, denture wearers enjoy good oral health but some can suffer from an unpleasant denture-related condition called denture stomatitis.
What is denture stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis, or thrush, is a condition that affects the roof of the sufferer's mouth. It's quite a common condition that, whilst not directly related to a person's age does tend to affect more elderly people than younger age groups.
Denture stomatitis commonly affects people who wear a complete denture which covers the roof of their mouth. The condition is caused by a fungus called candida that lives in the mouth. If you suffer from a dry mouth, you could also be susceptible to denture stomatitis as you will not produce enough saliva to clean your mouth naturally.
The candida yeast fungus grows on the part of the denture that covers the roof of the wearer's mouth, and causes an area of reddening beneath it. This is usually painless and for that reason often goes unnoticed. Problems begin when the condition spreads to the corners of the mouth where it can cause irritation and cracking of the skin which can be extremely painful.
Although denture stomatitis is not in itself a serious condition, it can sometimes be an indicator of something more concerning being associated with underlying immune system issues like HIV or diabetes.
Prevention and treatment of denture stomatitis
The best way of preventing the onset of denture stomatitis is to keep your mouth healthy. Brush your teeth or clean your dentures following meals and use a good quality mouthwash too. Smoking can also make you susceptible to infections.
Keep your dentures scrupulously clean; brush them, soak them and then brush them again using a soft toothbrush to reduce the risk of damaging the denture material. It's recommended that you soak your dentures in any solution that's used for sterilising baby's bottles or that you use a proprietary denture cleaning product.
Also, remove your dentures as much as possible and never leave them in overnight.
If maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping your dentures clean do not control the thrush, consult your dentist or doctor. There are many oral treatments available in the form of lozenges or tablets that you suck and allow to dissolve slowly in your mouth. Denture stomatitis usually clears up within a month or so.
You can avoid the discomfort of denture stomatitis by maintaining good oral hygiene, keeping your dentures clean, and removing them whenever possible. Once the condition is under control and the levels of yeast in your mouth have rebalanced, you should have no further problems. If you have any concerns about your dentures or your oral health, consult clinics like Natural Denture Clinic for advice.