Everyone knows that plaque on teeth can cause cavities and gum disease, but what about the plaque on dentures? The plaque on a denture is what microbiologists call a “biofilm”—a community of bacteria and fungi attached to a hydrated surface embedded in a sugary slime. Since these germs pose no direct problem to the denture itself, a visit to a prosthodontist may seem unnecessary. However, the germs that make up these biofilms are associated with the most serious infections in the body and because they grow on the surface of the denture and not in the body, they can elude the immune system and antibiotics. The real danger of these biofilms occurs when pieces break off, travel throughout the body, and become a source of infection—like pneumonia in the lungs. Keeping plaque off dentures at home is difficult despite best daily efforts; however, a quality denture will have no roughness, will be made out of the smoothest material available, and will come with instructions on how to preserve the smooth finish and recommendations for regular professional cleanings.
Dr Rodney Andrus is a Prosthodontist (an ADA recognized specialist in all types of dentures and oral rehabilitation) and provides expert solutions to challenging dental problems at St George Center for Specialized Dentistry in St George, UT. For more information you can call his office at 435-674-3100.