Denture stomatitis is a minor fungal infection that results in redness around the dentures and if left untreated can lead to swellings in the epithelium, the skin of your gums and palate. This swelling can worsen to the point where you cannot wear your dentures, and may require surgery to correct.
What Is Denture Stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis is a type of denture-related infection (almost always involving a Candida species of fungus) that can irritate your gums under your denture. You may notice pain, discomfort, bleeding, or even a change in the fit of your dentures. Normally, though there are few symptoms other than the redness of your gums. If you don’t regularly inspect your gums for signs of redness, your dentist is most likely the one who will notice the infection.
What Causes Denture Stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis is usually caused by poor care of your dentures. If you don’t take your dentures out every night and clean them properly, the Candida fungus can grow and eventually cause problems.
The infection is called candidiasis or thrush–yes, it’s the same infection that babies often get. It’s mostly harmless, but if uncontrolled it can lead to problems with denture fitting.
Why and How Denture Stomatitis Is Treated
If not controlled, denture stomatitis can cause epithelial papillary hyperplasia, swelling of your gum tissue. This will have to be resolved before your dentures will be able to fit properly. Often this requires surgery.
Normally, treatment of denture stomatitis just requires proper cleaning of your dentures, including soaking them overnight. This will normally resolve the condition within a few weeks. In the case of serious stomatitis or if altered care doesn’t resolve the condition, you may be prescribed an antifungal cream. Typically, synthetic antifungal creams are used, but new natural formulae are being developed.