You may not have heard the term denture stomatitis, even if you have worn dentures for a long time. However, you may be experiencing the symptoms of this common oral health problem nonetheless. Stomatitis is a general term that describes irritation of the mouth for a wide range of reasons. With denture stomatitis, inflammation and irritation of the mouth tissues occur due to daily denture use over a period of several years. Although it affects people over age 65 the most, eventually half of all long-term denture wearers may deal with the problem of denture stomatitis.
Most Common Symptoms of Denture Stomatitis
Some patients don’t notice the redness and irritation caused by wearing dentures until their dentist points it out to them. Others struggle with common symptoms to the point where it impacts the quality of their everyday life. These symptoms include:
- Mild bleeding at the site of the irritation
- Lingering bad taste in the mouth
- Spots ranging in color from white to yellow develop at the affected site, which indicates the presence of a fungal infection
- Severe dry mouth
- A sensation of burning at the affected site
- Red and swollen tissues in the soft palate of the mouth
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hiren Patel as soon as possible. He will complete an examination of your mouth and let you know about potential alternatives to wearing removable dentures, including implant-supported dentures.
Understanding Implant Supported Dentures
According to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, implant supported dentures are overdentures attached to and supported by dental implants. This can be a good option if you have no remaining teeth on one jaw but enough bone strength to support the dental implants. Dentures supported by implants have a device attached to them that snap directly into an attachment on the implants.
You can receive implant-supported dentures for one or both jaws. Just as with traditional dentures, you should remove your implant supported dentures each night to clean them as well as your gums. It’s important not to sleep with them in your mouth.
Bar-Retained and Ball-Retained Dentures
Dr. Patel will place either bar-retained or ball-retained dentures according to your unique needs. Each has a base made from acrylic that gives the appearance of actual gums. Our laboratory technicians attach replacement teeth made from acrylic or porcelain to the denture base. Dr. Patel will need to place a minimum of two implants regardless of which type of implant supported dentures you receive.
When you receive bar-retained dentures, your dentist places a thin metal bar relative to the curve in your jaw to the implants he previously placed into your jawbone. You may require up to five implants to hold the dentures in place. Dr. Patel also fits clips to the denture, bar, or both. Your new denture fits over the bar and remains securely clipped in place by the clips.
Ball-retained dentures, also known as stud-attachment dentures, requires each implant placed by Dr. Patel to hold a metal attachment that fits securely into another metal attachment. The ball-shaped attachments have male and female parts, with the dentures holding the male attachments and the implants holding the female attachments.
Both procedures typically require two surgeries spaced over several months. During the first procedure, Dr. Patel secures the implants in your jawbone underneath your gums. The purpose of the second surgery is to expose the top portion of the implants to allow them to hold the dentures in place. Once in place, the implant supported dentures do not cause the same irritation and stomatitis symptoms as traditional dentures.
Ready to Learn More About Implant Supported Dentures?
No one should have to suffer with chronic mouth irritation. If you’re ready to explore other options for tooth replacement, contact First-in-Smiles Dentistry to request an initial consultation with Dr. Patel today.