About gum sores from dentures

Written by sarah snyder
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About gum sores from dentures
(Flickr.com -- Conor Lawless)

Gum sores from dentures are an uncomfortable way to find out if the prosthetic is a good fit. Dentists use this data to adjust the denture to fit each user. Gum sores range from the benign pain that comes with growing into a pair of dentures, to fungal infections that must be addressed.

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Types

There are four major types of mouth stores: canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. Canker sores are grey or white on the inside and surrounded by red on the inside of the mouth. Cold sores, on the outside of the mouth, are not related to denture wear. Leukoplakia can be related to either smoking or denture use. It's a thick whitish patch on the inside of the cheek, tongue or gums. Candidiasis is a fungal infection common in denture wearers, especially those with dry mouth.

Time Frame

Gum sores that last more than a week and/or have an unusual appearance need to be examined professionally. The dentist will fit the dentures to better fit the patient and may also suggest additional courses of treatment. In the case of leukoplakia, a biopsy may be taken to help rule out cancer. Prolonged bleeding also requires medical attention. Proper relines, every two years for a complete set of dentures, is essential to keeping both the prosthetic and gums in superior shape. In addition, proper hygiene can go a long way.

Prevention/Solution

Solutions vary from adjusting the denture to better fit the gums to over-the-counter solutions, which include topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouth rinses. Good hygiene is paramount, including regular brushing and flossing. Mouthwashes can help with bad breath, and rinsing with saltwater several times throughout the day can help keep the area clean.

Misconceptions

Denture wear is not easy. Once the prosthetic is issued, it can take several weeks at least to grow accustomed to it. In addition to gum sores, speech and appearance are altered and take patience to adjust. Many people must practice reading to themselves and practicing speech in front of the mirror before they are confident enough to use the prosthetic in public.

Considerations

Start slow by eating foods that are easier to chew, such as steamed vegetables, as opposed to steak or a salad. Massage the gums several times a day to promote strength. Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth or extra saliva. Don't feel like adhesives are necessary; in fact avoid them if possible. Most denture slipping will resolve itself over time and with the proper fitting from the dentist.

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