About thirty five million Americans are missing all of their teeth, and about 90% of these people wear dentures. Dentures are an economical way to replace all of your teeth, but if you're not careful, they can cause a lot of complications inside your mouth, like inflammatory papillary hyperplasia. Here are five things you need to know about this complication of dentures.
What are the symptoms?
If you have inflammatory papillary hyperplasia, also called denture-induced hyperplasia, you will have a lesion on the roof of your mouth or on the insides of your cheeks. The size of this lesion can vary dramatically between cases and can be anywhere between a few millimeters in diameter and a widespread lesion that affects the entire oral mucosa.
This lesion doesn't usually hurt, so you may not realize it's there until your dentist points it out. However, if the lesion becomes ulcerated or very swollen, it may hurt. If you wear dentures and feel any pain inside your mouth, make sure to see your dentist, as dentures should be comfortable.
How do dentures cause inflammatory papillary hyperplasia?
Dentures can cause inflammatory papillary hyperplasia in a few different ways. Here are a few possible denture-related factors.
- Wearing dentures that don't fit properly, as poorly-fitting dentures will rub against your oral tissues and lead to irritation;
- Not cleaning your dentures regularly. which allows bacteria or fungi to accumulate on the dentures and irritate your tissues;
- Wearing your dentures overnight and not giving your oral tissues a chance to rest and heal while you sleep.
Other factors can increase your risk of denture-related complications. For example, older age is a risk factor. This is because, as you get older, the tissues inside your mouth aren't able to defend themselves against irritants as well as they could when you were younger. Factors like smoking or systemic health conditions like diabetes can also play a role.
Is it serious?
This complication needs to be taken seriously, as it can make it hard for you to keep wearing your dentures. Not wearing your dentures makes it harder to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, so malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies are a concern.
Another possible problem is infection. If your lesions become ulcerated, the open sores could become infected. The infection can then spread from your mouth to other parts of your body. Getting prompt treatment can help you avoid these complications.
Can it be treated?
If your lesions are minor, conservative treatment may be all you need. If your dentures don't fit properly, your dentist can adjust their fit by rebasing or relining them. This involves replacing the underside of your dentures to get a better fit against your gum tissue. If improper oral hygiene is a factor, your dentist will remind you to clean your dentures every day and may recommend a denture cleaning solution.
If the lesions are more serious and widespread, conservative treatments may not be enough. In these cases, your dentist can surgically remove the lesions. This can be done with a laser or with a scalpel. After the surgery, you'll wear a surgical splint or padded dentures to protect the tissues while they heal. You'll need to carefully follow your care instructions for your dentures to avoid a recurrence.
How common is it?
Inflammatory papillary hyperplasia is a very common complication among denture wearers. Between 5% and 10% of jaws with full dentures experience this complication. The top jaw is more likely to be affected, but either jaw can experience the complication. It is more common among women than men, though it isn't known why this is the case.
Keep these information in mind, and have your dentist check for lesions next time you go in for a dental cleaning. If you're experiencing pain, don't hesitate to make an appointment as soon as possible.