Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Systematic Review|Articles in Press

Comparative effectiveness of interventions for the treatment of denture stomatitis: A systematic review with network meta-analysis

Published:February 28, 2023DOI:


      Statement of problem

      Symptomatic denture stomatitis (DS) is a painful oral mucosal disorder that can impair quality of life in denture wearers. A complete cure of DS is difficult to achieve, and the most efficacious regimen to treat DS has not yet been conclusively established.


      The purpose of this network meta-analysis was to assess the comparative efficacy of interventions used for the treatment of DS.

      Material and methods

      A search was conducted for trials published in Medline, Scopus, PubMed, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception until February 2022 (PROSPERO Reg no: CRD42021271366). Network meta-analysis was performed on data from randomized controlled trials that assessed the comparative efficacy of any form of intervention for the treatment of DS in denture wearers. Agents were ranked according to their effectiveness in the treatment of DS based on outcomes using surface under the cumulative ranking (SUCRA).


      A total of 25 articles were included in the quantitative analysis. Topical antifungal agents (risk ratio [RR]=4.37[95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.15,8.90), topical antimicrobial agents used along with systemic antifungal agents (RR=4.25[95% CI: 1.79,10.33]), systemic antifungal agents (RR=4.25[95% CI: 1.79,10.10]), photodynamic therapy (RR=4.25[95% CI: 1.75,8.98]), and topical plant products (RR=3.40[95% CI: 1.59,7.26]) were found to effectively improve DS. Microwave disinfection concurrently administered with topical antifungal agents (RR=7.38(95% CI: 2.75,19.81), microwave disinfection 7.38[95% CI: 2.75,19.81]), topical antifungal agents (RR=4.88[95% CI: 1.92,12.42]), topical plant products (RR=4.49[95% CI: 1.70,11.82]), systemic antifungal agents together with topical antimicrobial agents (RR=3.85[95% CI: 1.33,11.10]), topical antimicrobial agents (RR=3.39[95% CI: 1.17,9.81]), systemic antifungal agents (RR=3.37[95% CI: 1.21,9.34]), and photodynamic therapy or photochemotherapy (PDT) (RR=2.93[95% CI: 1.01,8.47]) were found to effectively resolve mycological DS. Topical antifungals ranked highest in the SUCRA ranking for clinical improvement, whereas microwave disinfection concurrently administered with topical antifungal agents ranked highest for mycological resolution. None of the agents demonstrated significant side effects except for topical antimicrobial agents which demonstrated altered taste and staining of oral structures.


      Available evidence suggests that topical antifungals, microwave, and systemic antifungals are effective in the treatment of DS, but confidence in these findings is low because of the limited number of studies and a high risk of bias. Additional clinical trials are needed on photodynamic therapy, topical plant products, and topical antimicrobials.
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