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Denture Stomatitis: It’s Complicated

Denture stomatitis is one of the most common complaints people have about wearing their dentures. The red, inflamed gums make wearing dentures uncomfortable. Most of the time, stomatitis is related to the development of a Candida fungal infection, so it’s important to understand how Candida interact with the other living things in your mouth, including you.

When you get dentures, the entire ecology of your mouth changes. The distribution of oral bacteria that develops in your mouth is very different from what it is when you had teeth.

Now a new study shows how different the distribution is, and how that contributes to the development of stomatitis.

Analyzing Bacteria

British researchers looked at the oral microbe populations of 123 denture-wearing patients, 82 of whom had a complete upper denture and 41 of whom had only partial dentures on top. Most of the patients (78) were healthy, but a significant number (45) had stomatitis. They took samples from the dentures, gums, and, when applicable, teeth of denture wearers. They then cultured the samples to determine the composition of the different populations.

They found that the oral bacteria on the denture was significantly different from that on teeth. Most of the bacteria on the denture were Bacilli and Actinobacteria, but these only made up 30% of the plaque on natural teeth, which also tended to have a much higher diversity than denture plaque.

Researchers also found that a particular kind of bacterium, Lactobacillus, tended to encourage the growth of Candida species, which could be an important clue in trying to determine how to stop the illness.

Interestingly, this study didn’t consider the potential impact of implant dentures on the population of oral microbes.

Only the Beginning

This study represents the beginning of a project to wield detailed understanding of the oral environment into customized treatments or preventions for denture stomatitis. However, the practical outcome of this is a ways off, though other options are being investigated. In the meantime, the best way to avoid denture stomatitis is to make sure your dentures fit, and are properly cared for.

If you are looking for better-fitting dentures or implant dentures to help avoid stomatitis, please contact a local Denture Fountain of Youth® dentist today.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rod Strickland. Dr. Strickland is a dentist in Savannah, GA. He is the inventor of the Denture Fountain of Youth® technique.