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Denture stomatitis is a common condition that primarily affects denture wearers. However, anyone else can get the condition, even if they do not wear dentures. 

While the name may sound scary, there is nothing to be worried about as it is pretty common, and you do not have to live with it. Denture stomatitis is preventable and can also be treated if you have it.

This post takes you through all you need to know about denture stomatitis, highlighting its causes, prevention, and how to cure it. 

What Is Denture Stomatitis?

Denture stomatitis, also known as oral stomatitis or oral thrush, is a condition characterized by inflamed, puffy, red tissue that occurs in the mouth, mostly following the outline of a dental appliance that rests on the oral mucosa. In some cases, the swollen tissues are accompanied by bleeding, which may make one uncomfortable and affect their aesthetics and, ultimately, their self-esteem. 

The good news is that denture stomatitis is not contagious, meaning you cannot pass it on to another person. Moreover, the condition is preventable, treatable, and not life-threatening. 

What Does Denture Stomatitis Look Like?

Those dealing with denture stomatitis may experience mouth irritation, swelling, and redness. This happens mainly in the palate regions (the roof of the mouth). 

Oral thrush appears like light-colored patches that can be seen on the lips, inner cheeks, palate, gums, and even the tongue. While not very common, some denture stomatitis pictures show people experiencing cracks at the ends of their mouths.

Image retrieved from ResearchGate

What Causes Denture Stomatitis?

Denture stomatitis is a yeast infection of the mouth. It is mainly caused by candida — a type of fungus (yeast) that lives in the mouth and mostly does not cause any problems. 

However, there can be an imbalance at times, and the candida can grow out of control, resulting in a fungal infection. The candida build-up leads to inflammation of the gums and affects other parts of the oral mucosa, causing redness and soreness. 

Other external factors can cause denture stomatitis, including the denture material used, brushing & eating habits, etc. These can also increase candida microbe build-up, ultimately leading to inflammation. Some of the other top denture stomatitis causes include: 

What Are The Symptoms Of Denture Stomatitis?

Your dentist can easily identify any signs and symptoms of denture stomatitis even before they show. Early detection is ideal. That’s why you need to stay faithful to your regular dental checkups, especially if you are at risk of getting denture stomatitis.

Denture stomatitis symptoms can manifest in various forms, including mild and more severe forms. It would be prudent to note that if left untreated for long, the mild symptoms may become severe, causing bleeding gums, halitosis, tongue sores, or chronic numbness. 

Here are a few other signs and symptoms of potential denture stomatitis to watch out for: 

People with denture stomatitis may experience several symptoms simultaneously if the case is severe and may only have to deal with one or two symptoms if mild. Moreover, it is not uncommon for some patients that have denture stomatitis not to display any specific signs or symptoms. This makes it a lot more challenging to get timely treatment. 

Who Does Denture Stomatitis Affect?

Denture stomatitis is mainly observed in people that use dentures and other dental prosthetics. According to some reports, 50% – 70% of denture wearers experience some form of denture stomatitis after a period of wearing their dentures. Those with full dentures are at a higher risk of getting the condition, unlike those with only partial dentures.

There is also a high incidence among patients with braces and enamel caps, mostly affecting older adults. 

Some of the other groups of people that may be at a high risk of getting denture stomatitis include: 

Irregular brushing and disinfection of removable dentures are among the biggest triggers for unhealthy in-mouth bacteria growth, leading to denture stomatitis. 

How To Prevent Denture Stomatitis?

Although you may easily get denture stomatitis, you can reduce the likelihood of getting them, especially when factors beyond your control do not cause it. The best ways to prevent denture stomatitis include: 

Overall, preventing denture stomatitis points to maintaining proper oral hygiene, whether you have dentures or not. You should know the right denture tips and tricks to ensure that you minimize your risk of getting denture stomatitis.

It is also recommended that you get regular dental checkups to ensure that any symptoms of the conditions are dealt with before they become severe.

How to Treat Denture Stomatitis

There are a few denture stomatitis treatment options. But how is denture stomatitis diagnosed? This condition is generally diagnosed during a dental checkup. If you display symptoms, your dentist can determine the best course of action. Some of the possible treatments for denture stomatitis include: 

If your dentures worsen your symptoms, your dentist may recommend other options, including trying out flexible dentures or hybrid dentures.


Candida albicans is the most frequent pathogenic agent associated with denture stomatitis.

Depending on the symptoms you display when having denture stomatitis, you may experience pain and discomfort from the inflammation accompanied by bleeding and soreness.

Denture stomatitis is not contagious and cannot be easily passed from one person to another. However, some studies indicate that those prone to the condition can develop if the candida is passed to them.

The best treatment for denture stomatitis depends on individual cases, and the doctors may change the treatment from one person to another. However, anti-fungal treatment is usually the first line of defense and is mostly administered as lozenges.

Denture stomatitis is caused by candida, a type of fungus. This makes it a fungal infection, treatable using anti-fungal medication.

Denture-induced stomatitis is caused by candida, a type of fungus (yeast). It is a bacterial infection.

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