Seniors Guide to Dentistry: Stomatitis

Over the course of our lives, we put our teeth through a wide variety of experiences, from common eating and drinking to injuries from impact, grinding, and more. While dental hygiene can help to maintain our teeth over a long period of time, there are some risks that we can’t entirely mitigate, no matter how hard we try.

The Problem

Stomatitis is inflammation that results in sores in the mouth and is common in seniors, particularly patients with dentures. When seniors wear dentures for long amounts of time, including at night, the dentures can irritate the oral mucosa, or the lining around the mouth, resulting in repeated trauma. In some cases, a fungal infection in the mouth can lead to stomatitis. Not every patient will immediately feel the effects of stomatitis, and it might take a routine cleaning for a dentist or hygienist to diagnose a problem. In cases that display symptoms, patients usually complain of red, swollen tissue, bleeding, yellow or white spots, and/or a burning sensation. In severe cases, the inflammation may turn into severe denture stomatitis, sometimes known as inflammatory papillary hyperplasia (IPEH). Treatment of IPEH may require surgery to remove excess tissue, in some cases.

The Solution

In order to ensure that inflammation doesn’t occur, patients with dentures must have their dentures fitted properly and adjusted over time to maintain a tight fit. Furthermore, it is essential that dentures are cleaned properly on a regular basis. Dentures should be soaked in an antiseptic solution to destroy any fungi present on the dentures. Antifungal ointments can also be valuable in preventing the spread of fungal infections. For patients who struggle to consistently maintain dentures, dental implants have proven to be a highly beneficial solution.

If you have any questions about stomatitis, dentures, or dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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