Oral Thrush / Candidiasis

This is a fungal infection of the mouth. This is seen as pacthes of white film that cannot be wiped away or small red dots that can be painful. It can also be a sign of Vitamin B12, folate or iron deficiency. 

Common causes

  • A weak immune system which can be associated with the frail older people
  • Leaving dentures in the mouth for a long time without adequate cleaning
  • Dry mouth
  • Taking antibiotics for a long time

Eating a well balanced nutritious diet, especially important in the frail older people. Use of antifungal medications can help manage this. For denture wearers, it is important to allow the gum tissue to rest from wearing dentures. 

Angular Cheilitis

This is a bacterial or fungal infection that usually appears as red inflamed sores and cracks at the corners of the mouth.

Common causes

  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Dentures not being cleaned properly
  • Underlying immune or nutritional deficiency

Use of anti-fungal or anti-bacterial medications can help. A check-up by a dentist to treat ill fititng dentures and allowing gum tissue to rest from wearing dentures will help prevent this. It is good to clean and soak dentures overight in a glass of water with a cleaner such as Steradent or Polident.   

Denture Stomatitis

This is also a fungal or bacterial infection caused by leaving dentures in the mouth for too long. This is seen as generalised redness usually in the area covered by a denture. 

Common causes

  • Leaving dentures in the mouth for a along time without adequate cleaning

Use of anti-fungal or anti-bacterial medications can help. Allowing the gum tissue to rest from wearing dentures is important to prevent this. It is good to clean and soak dentures overnight in a glass of water with a cleaner such as Steradent or Polodent.