Mouth Ulcer Treatments and Care for Denture Wearers

Mouth ulcers can be a common unwanted side-effect from wearing dentures. They are most likely to occur soon after the dentures are initially fitted, or once the dentures become old or damaged and are poorly fitting, causing irritation to the gums.  Mouth ulcers can also occur because of poor denture maintenance and an insufficient dental hygiene routine. Of course, sometimes they can also appear through no fault of your own whatsoever, or because of mild food intolerances (for more information see our blog on the Causes of Mouth Ulcers and Mouth Ulcer Treatments). Although mouth ulcers should eventually disappear of their own accord after a week or two, there are effective habits denture wearers can adopt in order to help prevent ulceration, or to treat the sores.

Oral care is supremely important for denture wearers; more so than for those who only have natural teeth. Cleaning any natural teeth (for partial-denture wearers) twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is necessary to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth as well as any remaining food deposits. Flossing once a day is also recommended. Failure to keep any remaining teeth and gums healthy may result in mouth ulcers and is more likely to encourage infection should any occur.

When cleaning your dentures (usually at night), avoid damaging them by using a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any debris, and guard against running them under hot water, which may warp the dentures. Do take care when cleaning your dentures as any damage to the denture surface, attachments or plastic could bother your gums or tongue, potentially resulting in mouth ulcers. It is advised that you keep dentures in water, or a cleansing solution, overnight to prevent them from drying out. If not kept moist enough, dentures can become fragile and ill-fitting, again putting you at greater risk of ulceration.

Removing full or partial dentures at night is recommended in order to avoid unnecessary friction and consequent irritation of the gums, which can lead to sores and mouth ulcers.

Regular visits to your dentist should ensure that your dentures are well-fitting and less likely to cause ulcers.

Caring for your mouth and dentures in this way should minimise your risk of getting mouth ulcers and consequent infections. Should you get a mouth ulcer, there are a range of treatments available which can help to speed up the healing process and treat the pain they can create. Gels and liquids are available from pharmacies and supermarkets which create a barrier over the sore to minimise irritation. Many contain anaesthetics to combat pain and antiseptics to reduce the risk of infection. 

With over the counter treatments, if symptoms persist after 3 weeks, or if you are using other medication, we always recommend you consult a pharmacist or your GP.

Anbesol Adult Strength Gel, for mouth ulcer pain relief. Always read the label. Not for use in infant teething. 

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/dentures/oral-care-before-andafter-dentures-0415
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mouth-ulcers/
https://www.dentalhealth.org/mouth-ulcers

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