Good oral hygiene is essential for your overall health. This is especially true for people with oral appliances, as the normal microflora of your mouth and digestive system thrive in the porous material of the appliance and can develop into serious infections. Clinical research consistently finds that removable oral appliances are at a significant risk of developing Candida Albicans, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Actinomyces. These pathogens are prevalent on oral appliances and are the leading causes of Oral Thrush, Denture Stomatitis, Cheilitis and Pneumonia, which affect millions of people, especially those who sleep with their appliances. Most of these people have been suffering from low-grade infections for so long that they don’t even know they are sick. The symptoms—inflammation, discomfort, soreness, and loss of taste—become normal.
Denture-wearers are particularly at risk for developing long-term oral infections. Factors like age, medication, habits and illness can make people significantly more prone to infection. The risks increase over time as many people continue to use their dentures well beyond the recommended replacement time, and do not clean them properly. Medications can exacerbate the issue by disrupting the normal oral flora and/or causing dry mouth. Unfortunately, these infections are often left untreated because when denture-wearers have a problem, they go to a drugstore, not a dentist.
That’s why it is important for dental professionals to educate patients about the hygiene risks associated with oral appliances, and recommend the best solutions for a strong oral hygiene routine. Even though the number of people with prosthetic teeth and removable dental devices keeps growing, there is still not much information out there for people to take proper care of their appliances. I’ve seen this personally—I started my career as a denture technician before practicing cosmetic dentistry for over 35 years. I put together this oral care page to give detailed, scientific information about important topics like Candida and Oral Infections, Dry Mouth. Our Cleaning Tips page is comprised of step-by-step instructions to take the best care of specific oral appliances, recommended by myself and Key Opinion Leaders in the Dental Industry around the world.