Dental equipment such as dentures or partial dentures may irritate soft tissues in the mouth. If the irritation continues, the person may develop mouth sores. Sores can be found on the upper jaw, lower jaw, under the tongue, or on the palate. They are usually red and a little swollen.
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Causes of denture sores include:
- diseases, conditions, and infections that weaken the person's immune system
- fungal infections, such as oral thrush
- oral cancer
- rubbing from dentures or partials
- smoking and chewing tobacco use
- an uneven bite, known as malocclusion
- wearing dentures or partials all night
The following measures can help prevent denture problems:
- avoiding smoking and tobacco
- gently massaging the gum area with a finger or soft brush to improve circulation
- keeping dentures or partials free of plaque and stains
- limiting alcohol intake
- removing dentures or partials before going to bed
- using a soft toothbrush to keep the sore area clean
Individuals who wear full dentures should receive a yearly dental exam. People who wear partial dentures should have at least two exams per year. Dental repairs should be done by a dentist. People should not attempt to adjust their own dentures or partials.