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Dental Materials Prosthodontics

Clinical matters: Should chronic xerostomia patients use dental adhesive materials?




This summary is based on the article published in Gerodontology: Clinical aspects of the use of dental adhesive materials in patients with chronic xerostomia (June 2013)



  • Adhesives are commonly used by denture wearers to increase the retention and stability of the complete denture, to improve the chewing and masticatory abilities and to psychologically support the patient to make the complete denture more acceptable.
  • Denture fixatives can be especially recommended for use and to aid retention for patients with dryness of the mouth, poor secretion of saliva and xerostomia (e.g. diabetes mellitus).

Key Messages

  • Adequately maintaining prostheses is influenced by a number of physical phenomena, such as cohesion, adhesion, capillary tension, atmospheric pressure, and saliva viscosity.
  • The analysis of the mutual interactions between these phenomena is needed to ensure good maintenance of prostheses.
  • Applying adhesives helps the stability, retention and mastication efficiency of dentures. At the same time, the regular use of adhesives could disturb the balance of bacterial flora in mouth through the development of fungi and bacteria.
  • As they are manufactured in non-sterile environments, dental adhesives may be contaminated with bacteria and have been shown to induce microbial growth. In addition, some adhesives release formaldehyde, which is cytotoxic and a potent allergen.
  • Denture patients should know about the risks of prolonged and overuse of such adhesives. It is important to emphasize the need for periodic professional advice. Dentures should be either relined or re-based to minimize the need of using adhesives or zinc-free adhesives should be recommended.


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  1. JCDA Oasis September 5, 2013

    A dentist asked the following question: What is the safest adhesive that could be used if needed?

  2. JCDA Oasis September 9, 2013

    Dr. Ali Farahani asked the following question:
    Do we know which denture adhesives contain formaldehyde and which ones do not?


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