Denture breath: Testing & Cures
Cleaning both your mouth and dentures is the key.
The exact same type of bacteria and debris that accumulates on natural teeth and soft oral tissues will tend to accumulate on false teeth too.
This includes those types of bacteria that produce the volatile sulfur compounds that are responsible for causing bad breath.
What's the cure?
Treatment for denture breath must approach the problem on two fronts.
- A person must clean their dentures more effectively.
- They'll also need to more thoroughly clean those parts of their mouth where bacteria tend to accumulate. (This includes both the tissues their dentures rest on and especially the posterior region of their tongue.)
A) Many people don't remove and clean their dentures often enough.
The space between a denture and the gum tissue it rests on is an ideal location for bacterial growth.
- This space is relatively protected and therefore makes a cozy home for bacteria.
- Food particles easily enter this area and provide a continual food supply for the halitosis-producing bacteria that live there.
As a way of stifling the growth of the bacterial colony that inhabits this space ...
- Dentures (complete or partial) should always be removed after every meal for cleaning.
- They should be brushed both inside and out.
- Any denture adhesive that is present should be removed and replaced with new.
- The tissue areas covered by the dentures should be wiped with a washcloth or gently brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
B) On its own, denture brushing is not usually enough.
On a microscopic basis, the plastic surface of a denture is quite rough. And that means that every one offers innumerable locations that the bacteria that cause bad breath can call home.
The problem with just brushing.
While all denture cleaning activities should start with a thorough brushing, the problem with just doing it alone is that the diameter of any brush's bristles is far larger in size than the microscopic holes in which the offending bacteria live.
Using an ultrasonic unit can improve effectiveness.
As a solution ...
1) Use an ultrasonic unit.
One aid that can help is the use of an ultrasonic denture-cleaning unit.
The vibratory motion it generates provides an additional cleansing action. And it's been found that brushing in combination with ultrasonic cleaning is significantly more effective than just brushing alone.
2) Chemical cleansing and disinfecting.
After mechanically (brushing, ultrasonic) cleansing, a denture should be further cleansed and disinfected chemically.
That's because many of the bacteria that cause denture breath live in microscopic porosities on a denture's surface. Places where only chemical treatment can have an affect on them.
It seems most unlikely that anyone's denture breath can be cured without regular and frequent denture soaking.
(For more information on this subject, use this link: Effective Denture Cleansing.
How can you tell if you have denture breath?
Here's a simple test you can use to see if your dentures (full or partial) are the source of your halitosis.
- Take your dentures out and place them in a plastic bag (baggie), then close it.
- Let them sit for several minutes.
- Open the bag and take a sniff inside.
If things don't smell good, your dentures are causing at least some part of your breath problems. (We say "some part" because your tongue is probably a fault too.)