Denture Sore Mouth or Denture Stomatitis is characterized by inflammation, irritation, and redness of the oral mucosa covered by a denture bearing surface.

Image of dentures

While the incidence of complete edentulism is declining, continued growth in the population strongly suggests the rate of edentulism will remain constant or even increase. Thus, denture sore mouth and the need for proper denture care and maintenance will remain an important topic. Estimated by many studies, up to 2/3 of denture wearers have denture sore mouth.

Most often denture sore mouth can be symptomless; however, common complaints can be:

  • bleeding and swelling of the gum tissues
  • a burning sensation of the gums under the denture bearing surface
  • bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • xerostomia or dry mouth

Denture stomatitis is a multifactorial disease with several predisposing factors:

  • denture cleanliness
  • oral infections (fungal or bacterial)
  • poor diet
  • impaired salivary flow/function
  • trauma from ill-fitting dentures
  • immunosuppression

Poor denture hygiene is one of the most common causes of denture sore mouth. Poorly cleaned dentures quickly develop a sticky biofilm and accumulate plaque. This biofilm contains bacteria and yeast that live on the denture surface and can colonize the oral mucosa or gums. Daily and proper denture hygiene is imperative to prevent denture sore mouth.

A close second to poorly cleaned dentures in the cause of denture sore mouth is an ill-fitting or inadequately made denture. An ill-fitting denture can cause increased stress to the gingiva and lead to denture sore mouth producing gum irritation and bone resorption. Call to make an appointment today to determine if you need a denture reline or new set of dentures.