Denture Stomatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Denture stomatitis, also known as denture-related stomatitis or chronic atrophic candidiasis, is a common condition that affects individuals who wear dentures. It is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the oral mucosa beneath the denture, primarily caused by the overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans. When evaluating immediate dentures cost, it is important to consider the convenience and immediate restoration of your smile that these temporary dentures provide during the healing process. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for denture stomatitis.

Understanding Denture Stomatitis

Denture stomatitis occurs when the oral tissues in contact with dentures become inflamed and infected. This condition is prevalent among denture wearers, with studies estimating its occurrence in up to 65% of denture-wearing individuals. Denture stomatitis can range from mild redness and discomfort to more severe symptoms, such as pain and ulceration.

Causes of Denture Stomatitis

Several factors contribute to the development of denture stomatitis. The primary cause is the accumulation of plaque and biofilm on the surface of the dentures. This biofilm provides an ideal environment for the growth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast that naturally exists in the oral cavity. Other factors that can increase the risk of denture stomatitis include poor oral hygiene, wearing dentures overnight, ill-fitting dentures, and certain systemic conditions such as diabetes or immunosuppression.

Symptoms of Denture Stomatitis

The symptoms of denture stomatitis can vary from person to person, but common signs include:

  • Redness and inflammation of the oral mucosa under the denture.
  • Discomfort or soreness in the affected area.
  • Presence of small red dots or papules.
  • Burning sensation or loss of taste.
  • Thick, white, or creamy patches on the oral tissues.
  • Foul odor or unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

If you suspect you have denture stomatitis, it is important to consult a dental professional for an accurate diagnosis. The dentist will examine your oral cavity, assess the condition of your dentures, and may take a swab or biopsy of the affected area for laboratory analysis. This evaluation will help determine the severity of the condition and guide the appropriate treatment plan.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is crucial in managing denture stomatitis. Here are some preventive measures to consider:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your dentures and gums daily.
  • Remove and clean your dentures thoroughly every night.
  • Soak your dentures in a denture-cleansing solution or water overnight.
  • Ensure your dentures fit properly and are regularly checked by a dental professional.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can contribute to oral infections.

Treatment Options

The treatment of denture stomatitis typically involves a combination of measures to eliminate the infection and improve oral health. The following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Topical antifungal medications: Denture wearers can use antifungal creams or gels to apply to the affected areas.
  • Oral antifungal medications: In severe cases, oral antifungal medications may be prescribed to control the fungal overgrowth.
  • Denture adjustment: Ill-fitting dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced to improve oral hygiene and reduce irritation.
  • Denture hygiene: Proper denture cleaning techniques and regular disinfection are essential to prevent recurrence.
  • Regular dental check-ups: Routine dental visits allow for professional assessment and early detection of any oral issues.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Denture Wearers

To maintain good oral health while wearing dentures, consider the following tips:

  • Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristle toothbrush or a damp cloth.
  • Clean your dentures daily using a non-abrasive denture cleanser and a denture brush.
  • Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria and control infections.
  • Handle your dentures with care to avoid damaging them.
  • Remove and soak your dentures in a cleansing solution overnight to keep them clean and fresh.

Lifestyle Modifications

Certain lifestyle modifications can help manage denture stomatitis:

  • Avoid wearing dentures for extended periods, especially during sleep.
  • Take breaks from wearing dentures to allow your oral tissues to rest and recover.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients to support your oral health and immune system.

Dietary Recommendations

Certain dietary considerations can contribute to improved oral health:

  • Limit the consumption of sugary foods and beverages, as they can promote the growth of Candida.
  • Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support overall oral health.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.


Denture stomatitis is a common condition that affects denture wearers, characterized by inflammation and infection of the oral tissues beneath the denture. It is primarily caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans. Proper oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and adherence to preventive measures are crucial in managing denture stomatitis. By following the recommended treatment options and incorporating healthy habits, individuals can improve their oral health and overall well-being.

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