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Denture Stomatitis Medication

  • Author: James J Sciubba, DMD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Sep 02, 2015

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to eradicate the infection, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications.


Antifungal Agents

Class Summary

Mechanism of action usually involves inhibiting pathways (enzymes, substrates, transport) necessary for sterol/cell membrane synthesis or altering the permeability of the cell membrane (polyenes) of the fungal cell. It may also involve an alteration of RNA and DNA metabolism or an intracellular accumulation of peroxide that is toxic to the fungal cell.

Clotrimazole (Mycelex Troches)


Broad-spectrum antifungal agent that inhibits yeast growth by altering cell membrane permeability, causing fungal cells to die.

Nystatin (Mycostatin Pastilles, Nystatin)


Fungicidal and fungistatic antibiotic obtained from Streptomyces noursei; effective against various yeasts and yeastlike fungi. Changes permeability of fungal cell membrane after binding to cell membrane sterols, causing cellular contents to leak. Treatment should continue until 48 h after symptoms disappear. Reevaluate after 14 days of treatment if no improvement. Drug is not significantly absorbed from GI tract.


Oral Rinses

Class Summary

Mucoadhesive action reduces pain by adhering to the mucosal surface of the mouth.

Bioadherent oral (Gelclair)


This agent adheres to the mucosal surface of mouth and forms a protective coating that shields exposed and overstimulated nerve endings. Ingredients include water, maltodextrin, propylene glycol, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), sodium hyaluronate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, hydroxy ethylcellulose, polyethylene glycol (PEG)–40, hydrogenated castor oil, disodium edetate, benzalkonium chloride, flavoring, saccharin sodium, and glycyrrhetinic acid.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

James J Sciubba, DMD, PhD Retired Professor and Director of Dental and Oral Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Milton J Dance Head and Neck Center; Private Practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral Medicine, Baltimore and Timonium, MD

James J Sciubba, DMD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Dental Association, International Academy of Oral Oncology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS Consulting Staff, Department of Dermatology, Dermatology Research Associates of Cincinnati

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Oral Medicine, American Dental Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Peter Fritsch, MD Chair, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Peter Fritsch, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Dermatological Association, International Society of Pediatric Dermatology, and Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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A variably intense erythema distributed over the part of the mucosa covered by the denture base is diagnostic of denture stomatitis.
When untreated and chronic, papillary epithelial hyperplasia may develop. This may need to be surgically removed before the denture is replaced or relined.
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