If you wear dentures, you might think that your days of routine oral hygiene are behind you. That couldn't be farther from the truth. You might not have natural teeth to brush or floss anymore, your dentures can create the perfect environment for infections. One of those infections is called denture-related stomatitis.
While stomatitis may sound like it relates to the stomach, it's actually an oral infection that can wreak havoc on your mouth. Here are a few things you need to know about denture-related stomatitis.
Causes of Stomatitis
If you wear dentures, your chances of developing stomatitis increase significantly. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Dentures are designed to fit snugly in your mouth. Too tight and your mouth can't breathe. Too loose and your dentures rub against your gums and cause painful sores. Both situations can cause bacteria to build up in your mouth. If your dentures don't fit properly, you should have your dentist adjust them for you.
You should clean your dentures at least once a day. If you don't, germs and bacteria have the opportunity to grow. One way to keep your dentures properly sanitized is to soak them in a bowl of water and bleach overnight.
Simply fill a bowl with water and add a tablespoon of bleach. Place your dentures in the solution and allow them to soak overnight. Rinse them well and brush them with a mild toothpaste before placing them back in your mouth in the morning.
How You'll Know You Have It
If you have stomatitis, you may not notice any symptoms at first. However, once the infection progresses, you may notice the following symptoms.
- White patches along the gum line
- Red sores in your mouth
- Pain when inserting your dentures
You don't have to suffer from stomatitis just because you wear dentures. There are several ways to prevent the infection. As discussed earlier, you should clean your dentures at least once a day. You should also remove your dentures and rinse your mouth with clear water after each meal. Rinsing your mouth will remove the tiny particles of food that may be stuck between your gums and your dentures. You should also brush your mouth and remaining teeth at least twice a day.
Dentures don't mean the end to proper oral hygiene. If you wear dentures, it's important that you continue caring for your mouth.