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All You Need to Know About Prosthetic Stomatitis

You’ve been wearing a denture for quite some time now, and everything seems to be fine on this side. However, when you visit the dentist, the dentist examines your gums and your palate. When you ask him if something is wrong, the diagnosis falls: you have prosthetic stomatitis.

What is Prosthetic Stomatitis?

Prosthetic stomatitis is a state of chronic inflammation of the mucosa of the gums and the palate, which is found much more frequently in removable prostheses; it is said that it affects a third of those who wear it. 

What are the Causes?

Prosthetic stomatitis is indeed a more common oral lesion in the individual who lacks one or more teeth because the factors that are most often implicated in the medical literature are trauma caused by poorly fitting prostheses, hygiene deficient oral and prosthetic and a factor favoring infections. An unstable prosthesis and the continual wearing of the prosthesis can, therefore, promote this disease. 

Some systemic factors may have an impact on the prevalence of prosthetic stomatitis, such as protein, vitamin A and B deficiency or iron deficiency. Also, this problem is more common in people with diabetes and in patients who receive therapies to stimulate the immune system. 

Although it is very prevalent among denture wearers, prosthetic stomatitis remains very often asymptomatic, and its importance is generally underestimated. 

What are the possible symptoms?

As we have just pointed out, prosthetic stomatitis does not generally present any symptoms; it must therefore often be detected by a health professional as part of a routine examination.  

The most common and most conventional sign of prosthetic stomatitis is the presence of chronic redness that may be localized or extensive, ranging in severity from mild to severe, and particularly involving the mucous membrane of the palate of an individual with a removable prosthesis, whether partial or complete. Here are a few examples.  

  • A burning sensation in the palate and tongue; 
  • Halitosis, more commonly known as “bad breath”; 
  • Xerostomia, a state of dry mouth that is usually associated with a lack of saliva; 
  • Dysphagia, an uncomfortable feeling of blockage felt when passing food through the mouth, pharynx or esophagus. 

Diagnosis of prosthetic stomatitis

It is most often asymptomatic. Prosthetic stomatitis should usually be diagnosed by an oral health specialist. To achieve this, the patient must perform a meticulous examination of the mouth and mucosa of the palate, to find the most common clinical signs (which correspond, among other things, to the type of inflammation, its magnitude and intensity).  

How to treat it and minimize risks?

Even though prosthetic stomatitis does not seem to cause any problems daily, it is still important to take appropriate measures to keep your palate healthy and free of inflammation, and that your oral mucosa is in good health. 

Since prosthetic stomatitis has both multiple and complex causes, its treatment still has several components. If your health care professional can prescribe antifungal creams to treat the lesion, you will first need to make sure you optimize your oral and prosthetic hygiene to get good results. 

For example, it may be wise to use antimicrobial agents to disinfect your dentures, just as it would be appropriate to use a mouthwash containing alkaline peroxide or chlorhexidine gluconate.  

Also, you should also check regularly if you notice in your mouth, areas of pressure or occlusal contact too marked. In these cases, a treatment with tissue conditioners could be done, followed by a reline or the making of a new prosthesis. 

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