Irritations caused by wearing total dentures

The application of full dentures is healthy when there are no more dental units on the arch or when those present are damaged and show signs of extraction.

In this case, the prosthetic field resulting from the loss of teeth is represented by ridges covered by mucosa, which may have a rounded appearance, favorable for prosthetics, or, on the contrary, a sharp, cutting-edge appearance, which does not help the practitioner to design the treatment plan.

The production of irritation of the oral mucosa may be favored by certain general factors, particularly general diseases.

The latter have the role of favoring the onset of irritations and aggravating their progression. On the other hand, local factors are determining factors with a direct impact on the development of mucosal lesions.

Local factors

The following local factors can cause irritation:

  • Movement or slippage of the dentures – dentures should normally fit firmly on the edentulous ridges and rest on them to ensure stability of the dentures.

Any lateral movement causes strong frictional forces between the mucosal surface of the dentures and the oral mucosa, which has an irritating effect.

The greater the displacement, the greater the extent of the lesion. In addition, minimal displacement of the dentures, generating small but constant forces, can cause irritation.

  • Failure to establish the correct vertical height of the patient’s lower face – the lower face is defined from nose to chin, this dimension is not constant and varies according to the presence or absence of dental units.

In the totally edentulous patient, i.e. one who has lost all his teeth, the lower face is naturally undersized.

In order to restore total edentulousness and restore the appearance of the teeth before they were lost, the doctor must respect the original size of the lower floor.

Whether measurements are taken when the patient still had teeth and noted in the chart, or anthropometric or functional methods are used, the closer the lower floor size is assessed to the actual size, the more comfortable the patient will feel when wearing the prosthesis.

The degree of smoothness of the denture – Crucial to having intact and healthy mucous membranes is to make a denture whose faces resting on the dental ridges are smooth without roughness. Any roughness or unfinished areas become irritating to the mucosa, which will show damage.


The symptoms that the patient with oral mucosal lesions presents are:

Pain – can range from simple embarrassment to severe pain that does not allow the patient to wear the denture

Burning – felt especially when the patient eats or drinks hot or spicy drinks.

Dry mouth sensation

Bleeding – does not occur every time but suggests an advanced stage of damage to the oral mucosa. Always look for a general cause that could favor spontaneous bleeding of the mucous membranes.

It is imperative that the patient maintains a rigorous hygiene of the total dentures and the oral cavity, overall, according to the indications given by the dentist.

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