Common inflammatory condition affecting denture wearers – it’s not gum disease

Sheridan Smith on Cilla dentures and red hair

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When you remove false teeth, there might be a “very red area” under the denture, which dentists will be able to spot, the Oral Health Foundation pointed out. “There may also be red sore areas at the corner of the lips,” the organisation added. These are warning signs of denture stomatitis, which is caused by the yeast or fungus candida.

While the infection is not contagious, fungal overgrowth is more likely if you:

  • Wear dentures
  • Have poor oral hygiene
  • Take steroids
  • Take antibiotics
  • Have diabetes.

Left untreated, denture stomatitis – also known as thrush – can cause soreness in the mouth.

Furthermore, the infection may lead to poorly fitting dentures in the future.

How to treat the infection

The first important step is to practise good oral hygiene; this requires rinsing your mouth (and dentures) after meals.

Furthermore, if you do have a smoking habit, now is the time to give it up.

“Smoking encourages the growth of further yeast infections,” the Oral Health Foundation explained.

For some people, a yeast infection will completely clear if you don’t wear your dentures at night for two weeks.

You will also need to keep your dentures as clean as possible by cleaning and soaking them every day.

The Oral Health Foundation cautioned that dentures should not be cleaned with toothpaste.

A non-abrasive denture cleaner is needed, where you can then brush all surfaces of the dentures.

You will also need to use a denture-cleaning solution to remove any plaque or stains from the dentures.

Unclean dentures can not only lead to oral thrush, it can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.

The NHS added: “You should brush your remaining teeth, gums and tongue every morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste.”

This is “to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems”.

It is important to book annual check-ups at the dentist for your oral health.

Moreover, gums and the jawbone will eventually shrink over time, meaning dentures may not fit as well as they once did.

If you notice any of the following, you are strongly advised to see your dentist “as soon as possible”:

  • Your dentures click when you’re talking
  • Your dentures tend to slip, or you feel they no longer fit properly
  • Your dentures feel uncomfortable
  • Your dentures are visibly worn

You have signs of gum disease or tooth decay, such as bleeding gums or bad breath.

Poorly fitted dentures can cause great discomfort over time, as well as other issues.

For instance, poorly fitted dentures can also lead to mouth sores, infections, and problems with eating and speaking.

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