Fungal Infection Problems? New 3-D Printed Dentures Ooze Medication
8 minute read
It is, unfortunately, a common reality for the denture-wearing population that they will likely experience oral fungal infections. The inflammation, pain, and swelling of these infections not only interferes with comfort levels and daily life but can increase the risk of more serious infections as well.
Scientists and denture wearers alike have been looking for a way to prevent, or at least reduce, these infections for years. With the advent of 3-D printing, a real breakthrough may have been found.
Thankfully, new drug-filled dentures can deliver relief and treatment right to the source.
A 3-D Approach
Researchers have turned to the innovative possibilities of 3-D printers to find solutions for painful denture-related infections.
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Denture-related stomatitis, as it is medically known, affects a large number of denture-wearing adults each year. By using machines to build dentures that can be filled with microscopic capsules of antifungal medication, scientists hope to eliminate this problem.
The capsules will periodically release the medication to combat any infection that could be growing.
Currently, denture-wearing adults use antiseptic mouthwashes, baking soda, and microwave disinfection to clear fungal infections. Since most of these infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida, others turn to natural Candida control supplements for help.
The advantage these new drug-filled dentures can provide is that the infection can be targeted while still wearing the dentures. By fighting infection and preventing future fungal growth while being worn, this new technology can save time and money.
Another benefit to the new dentures is that clinicians can create customized dentures quickly as the patient sits in the chair. This is a huge improvement over traditional methods in which manufacturing dentures can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
The new technology will prove invaluable to those that are hospitalized or highly susceptible to infection. Moving forward, this research can be used for other clinical therapies, such as splints, stents, and casts.
Dealing With Dentures
Oral hygiene is important whether you wear dentures or not. Wearing dentures, however, does come with some additional challenges, so it becomes imperative that you keep your mouth clean and healthy.
The most important thing to remember with dentures is that they need to fit properly. Ill-fitting dentures can cause gum irritation, infection, and problems eating and speaking.
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Any stress caused to your oral cavity can trigger an inflammatory response that can cause even further damage or pain.
Cheilosis is a painful infection related to dentures that cause inflammation and cracking at the corners of your mouth. It typically results from an overgrowth of yeast which can occur when your dentures do not fit properly.
This condition can develop on both sides of the mouth or just one and symptoms include:
♦ Cracked corners of the mouth
♦ Red, swollen gums
♦ Itchy gums
Stomatitis is another common denture-related infection, also caused by the presence of too much yeast, something that natural supplements can help control. The symptoms of this are not as obvious because they can appear under your dentures.
If you do notice small, red bumps along the roof of your mouth, then it is likely you have developed the condition. The buildup of yeast can cause inflammation of the mucous membrane in your mouth which ultimately causes inflammation and pain.
Beyond Your Dentures
Preventing infections is important whether you have dentures or not. However, bacteria seem to accumulate more frequently when dentures are involved.
The importance of oral health extends beyond keeping your dentures clean because the damage done can spread to other parts of your body. The new 3-D technology will help to keep dentures bacteria-free, which can protect you from a host of serious health problems.
Cardiovascular Disease: Poor oral health can contribute to heart disease should the bacteria find their way into your bloodstream. Once in your arteries, plaque develops and hardens causing atherosclerosis and blood flow complications.
Damage to arteries and hypertension can increase your risk for stroke.
Dementia: When your gums become inflamed from bacteria-ridden dentures, substances are released that can damage brain cells and lead to memory loss. The nerve channels from the mouth to the brain make for easy passage of these bacteria, so bacteria-free dentures are the best way to protect against neurodegeneration.
Diabetes: Diabetics are more prone to infected gums and teeth and, in turn, infected gums make it harder to manage diabetes. Gum disease caused by infected dentures can lead blood sugar levels to spike and drop, making a person with poor oral health more at risk for developing diabetes.
Kidney Disease: Infected dentures can cause periodontal disease, which weakens the immune system. The development of this disease puts you at greater risk for kidney disease, which can be fatal should it develop into kidney failure.
Many people who suffer from poor oral health and denture problems also suffer from kidney disease.
Respiratory Infections: Bacteria from your mouth have easy access to your lungs and airways. As you breathe in and out, the bacteria hiding in dentures can be swept into your lungs or travel via your bloodstream.
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Once bacteria reach your lungs, you are at increased risk for developing respiratory problems, such as COPD, bronchitis, and even pneumonia.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Inflammation is the common factor in gum disease brought on by infected dentures and arthritis. Bacteria accumulated in the mouth trigger inflammation throughout the body, which increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis as well as other inflammatory-related diseases.
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Studies have shown that individuals with gum disease are four times more likely to also have rheumatoid arthritis.
Cancer: Poor oral care practices such as failure to clean dentures properly can lead to oral and throat cancers. The buildup of harmful bacteria and pathogens in your mouth can also spread to other areas, thereby increasing your risk of infection and potential tumor development.
The Bottom Line
Good oral hygiene is important because your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. Having dentures does not have to be a burden and does not need to complicate your oral routine.
You need to remember that dentures can facilitate the accumulation of bacteria, so extra care and attention is needed. Advances such as the drug-filled dentures will make it easier to keep your dentures clean, keep you healthy, and keep you smiling.