Ill Effects and Complications Associated to Removable Dentures With Improper Use and Poor Oral Hygiene: A Systematic Review

Cureus. 2022 Aug 18;14(8):e28144. doi: 10.7759/cureus.28144. eCollection 2022 Aug.


The importance of oral care and its relationship with an individual's well-being has been identified over the past few decades. As there is a drastic increase in the aging population, so did the use of removable dentures more than ever before. The use of dentures among the elderly provides functional advantages and esthetic benefits. However, improper use and poor oral hygiene with removable dentures come with complications, including denture stomatitis, ulcerations, pneumonia, and many more. The study aims to determine the complications associated with inappropriate use and poor oral care and bring forth evidence-based dentist-recommended guidelines for denture maintenance. Articles were systematically screened in PubMed/Medline (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online), PubMed Central (PMC), and Cochrane Library using keywords. Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) was also utilized to identify relevant articles. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, duplicate articles were discarded, and then the articles were reviewed by title and abstract screening. The remaining articles went through a detailed full-text review. A quality appraisal check was conducted for each unique type of research publication, after which a total of 22 articles were finalized. In this study, we have seen pathological biofilm formation on dentures, life-threatening pneumonia, denture stomatitis, and accidental ingestion/aspiration of dentures amongst the elderly population. The study also identified members with low literacy rates, minorities, and low-income families seem to be at higher risk of poor oral care and denture hygiene. We identified that most of these complications could be prevented with proper guidance and education. In the future, a further detailed study is important as no clear consensus exists in terms of best practices of denture cleaning methods. In addition, measures should be initiated to encourage regular dentist appointments and increase accessibility among members of low socioeconomic status and minorities.

Keywords: aspiration pneumonia; oral diseases; oral health care; poor oral hygiene; removable denture.

Publication types

  • Review