Epulis fissuratum, also known as denture-induced granuloma, is a benign lesion that forms in response to denture use. If you wear dentures, especially dentures that don't fit well, you may be at risk of this condition. Here are five things that denture wearers need to know about epulis fissuratum.
What are the signs of epulis fissuratum?
If you have epulis fissuratum, you will notice areas of raised, hardened tissues on your gums or on the insides of your cheeks. These areas may be painful and may make it hard for you to continue wearing your dentures. If you notice any changes to these tissues, make sure to see your dentist right away as your dentures may be the cause of the problem.
How do dentures cause it?
Epulis fissuratum forms as a response to trauma. If your dentures do not fit properly, they will not stay in place. Instead, they will rub against your gums and the insides of your cheeks every time you bite, chew, or speak, and all of this friction damages your gum tissues. In response to this damage, the affected oral tissues will become hardened and thickened. This is similar to the calluses that you can develop on your skin.
Is it serious?
Epulis fissuratum may lead to pain or discomfort on your gum tissue or on the insides of your cheeks. Chronic irritation to the calloused area of tissue may lead to further damage and the formation of an ulcer, a painful, open sore. The pain associated with this can make it hard for you to wear your dentures. Going without your dentures can make it hard for you to eat and get proper nutrition, and it can also negatively affect your self-image.
Pain and discomfort are not the only problems associated with epulis fissratum. Chronic trauma to your oral soft tissues may predispose you to carcinoma, a type of cancer. For this reason, this condition needs to be dealt with promptly.
How is it treated?
To treat epulis fissuratum, the cause of the friction and trauma must be addressed. Your dentist will check the fit of your dentures, and if necessary, the fit will be adjusted. This can be done by relining or rebasing the dentures. Your dentists will take an impression of your gums, and then that impression will be used to create a new underside for your dentures to make them fit better. If relining or rebasing isn't possible, your dentures will need to be replaced.
Adjusting the fit of your dentures may be the only treatment that is required. Once the source of friction is removed, your tissues may heal on their own. However, if the tissues don't heal on their own, your dentist can offer treatments.
Your dentist can surgically remove the thickened areas of tissue. This can be done with either a scalpel or a laser. This procedure is fairly simple, and as long as well-fitting dentures are worn afterwards, recurrence is rare.
Who gets epulis fissuratum?
Epulis fissuratum usually affects Caucasians. This may be because more white people wear dentures than people of other races. This condition is also more common among females than among males. It is theorized that this is the case because women are more likely to wear their dentures for long periods of time, or even overnight, due to appearance concerns. The hormonal changes associated with menopause may also make women more likely to develop this complication.
If you wear dentures and notice thickened, hardened, painful lesions on your oral soft tissues, you may have epulis fissuratum. See a family dental clinic right away for treatment.