Summary The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions associated with the use of full dentures (FD) among non-institutionalized individuals of 60 or more years of age in a rural Brazilian population. The sample consisted of 344 individuals aged 60 or more from two rural communities of Brazil. Of this total, 146 were FD users and 198 FD, non-users. Angular cheilitis, denture stomatitis and inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia were statistically associated with prosthesis use. Hygiene and integrity of the prosthesis were related to the presence of oral lesions. While inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia was positively related to FD integrity, denture stomatitis was associated with time of use, hygiene status and integrity of FD. The results indicate the need for oral health care programmes for the elderly and show a relationship between time of use, quality and hygiene of oral prostheses with the presence of mucosal lesions.