If you wear dentures, you are at an increased risk of developing oral thrush, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. However, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of developing this condition, or to turn it around if you do start showing symptoms like a white, coated tongue. Here's a look at three ways denture wearers can prevent oral thrush.
Clean your dentures thoroughly.
It's easy to get into the habit of just brushing your dentures quickly before popping them in their storage solution. However, you're not doing yourself any favors with a brief cleaning, since you're probably leaving yeast behind to multiply and later cause thrush when you put your dentures back in. Make sure you clean your dentures more thoroughly by
- Cleaning the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any plaque, adhesive, or food particles.
- Using a toothpaste when brushing your dentures.
- Running the dentures under running water after brushing them to ensure debris does not end up in your soaking solution.
- Using a soaking solution, rather than water, to store your dentures, and diluting it properly as instructed on the package.
Use mouthwash sparingly.
Antiseptic mouthwash can be a good for rinsing away oral bacteria after you remove you dentures and brush your gums and tongue. However, using it too often can kill off too many of your oral bacteria. Your oral bacteria help keep yeast levels down, so if you kill them off, the yeast may flourish and cause thrush. Talk to your dentist about your use of antiseptic mouthwash. If you're prone to thrush, he or she may recommend using mouthwash only occasionally, or not at all. If you don't currently have thrush, try to keep your use of mouthwash to once per day so you don't increase your susceptibility to thrush.
Avoid sugary foods.
There's a common misconception among denture wearers that since they don't have to worry about cavities anymore, it is fine to indulge in sugary foods and drinks. However, this is not the case. Yeast feed on sugar, so if you're always sipping on soda or chewing on candy, you're giving them a change to take over and cause thrush. Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum, and rinse your mouth out with water after you eat them.
If you're struggling to keep thrush at bay, speak to your family dental clinic. The dentist may prescribe a special rinse that will help your body fight of yeast more successfully.