Dentures and Oral Infections

By Dr. Damon on September 26, 2018

Broken partial denture on plain white surfacePatients with significant tooth loss can benefit from dentures at our Fort Worth, TX practice. While this solution is an excellent and affordable choice for restoring aesthetics and function, dentures can trigger certain oral health complications.

Today, our doctors discuss dentures and oral infections and explain how patients can avoid these issues.

Dentures are a great solution to your dental problems

I see it every day, patients come in for a consultation to get their mouths back on track. A majority of my patients are suffering from years of bad teeth, painful teeth, and infected teeth. We remove these teeth under IV Sedation and provide Immediate Dentures to Immediately replace their teeth after surgery. Benefits of dentures - economical tooth replacement versus implants, immdiately place them, no more tooth problems, and we can achieve excellent esthetics! The downside to dentures is lack of function! The lower denture is always loose. Patients must accommodate to their new dentures. If you want to know more visit our denture page. 

Did you know Oral Infections Occur among Patients that Wear Dentures?

Dentures, although strong and resilient, will not last forever. In fact, no matter what material your dentures are crafted from, they have an average lifespan of 5-7  years per the recommendation of the American College of Prosthodontitist.

As dentures age, they can develop tiny cracks and hairline fractures. These areas can harbor bacteria and cause dental complications, including oral infections. Also, the acrylic can become more porous and bacteria and fungus can penetrate.

This is one of the many reasons we recommend having your denture relined every 2 years. This allows for your dentist can evaluate the condition of your prosthesis and adjust it for a proper fit, helping you avoid oral infections and other problems.

Common Oral Infections Linked to Denture Wear

Individuals who wear dentures can develop oral infections, especially if their appliance is over 10 years old. Two of the common infections associated with dentures include:

  • Angular Cheilitis: This condition is characterized by inflamed, cracked skin near the corners of the mouth. Cheilitis is caused by yeast (candida), which tends to accumulate in moist areas. This is a problem due to bone atrophy that occurs once the teeth are lost. As this bone atrophy continues, the bite collapses and the lower third of the face begins to shorten as is shortens there are more folds around the corners of the mouth which stay wet and become infected with candia yeast. The treatment here is a new set of dentures to open up the patients bite and restore the proper vertical dimension. We can give the patient a topical fungal medication to help, but the root cause is the denture.  
  • Stomatitis: Characterized by red oral tissues or tiny red bumps on the palate, stomatitis is also caused by an overgrowth of yeast. These symptoms are not always apparent, making it difficult for patients to know there is a problem. The root cause of the fungus, is a poorly fitting denture. This patient needs a tissue conditioning soft liner for a few weeks to 2 months, then a new hard reline. Sometimes an oral antifungal is also needed. 

If you notice signs of an oral infection, schedule a visit with your doctor right away. These conditions can be successfully treated with medications and improved denture care.

Denture Care Tips

Of course, the best way to prevent oral infections is to care for your dentures properly and have them relined every 2 years. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Clean your dentures every day: In addition to rinsing dentures after every meal, patients should clean them with a soft-bristled brush and liquid soap (fragrance free). I only recommend to use denture cleaner tabs once a week due to the cleaning agents turning dentures orange. 
  • Clean your mouth: When you clean your dentures, it is important to clean your oral soft tissues as well. Be sure to brush your gums, tongue, cheeks, and palate before putting in your dentures. Rinsing with salt water two times a day helps keep your tissues fresh. 
  • Use care and caution: Dentures are strong, but they can break if dropped. We recommend placing a towel in the sink or on the countertop when cleaning your dentures. That way, if you accidentally drop them, they will be protected. You can also fill the sink up with water so if you do drop them they hit the water.
  • Do not sleep with your dentures: Unless your dentist directs you otherwise, do not wear your dentures when you sleep.
  • Store your dentures properly: When they are not in your mouth, be sure to keep your dentures in water. Your appliance must stay wet as acrylic will shrink if left to dry!

Contact Texas Denture Clinic and Implant Center Today! 

If you wear dentures, know your risk for oral infections and other complications. If you suspect a denture-related issue is going on, schedule an appointment at our office today. Call us at 817 336 2121 or contact Texas Denture Clinic online.

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