Rest for Your Mouth: The Importance of Removing Dentures at Night

Continuous wear of dentures can increase the risk of oral infections and other oral health problems.

Maybe you don’t like to be without teeth — ever. Or perhaps you get a little forgetful sometimes. Whatever the reason, if you’re wearing your dentures to bed at night, we have one message: Don’t do it!

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Serious Health Consequences

Sleeping in dentures can have serious health consequences. According to the NCBI, wearing dentures while sleeping doubles the risk of pneumonia in the very elderly. But how can wearing dentures at night increase your chances of getting a lung infection?

As the study noted, pneumonia-causing bacteria can readily be moved from the mouth to the lungs simply by breathing. And dentures not removed at night can become breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria and fungi (such as yeast). That’s what makes them potentially dangerous.

Another condition often seen in people who wear upper dentures continually is called denture stomatitis, characterized by a red, inflamed palate (roof of the mouth) infected with yeast. The yeast microorganisms can also infect cracked corners of the mouth, a condition known as angular cheilitis. Moreover, it has also been shown that people who sleep in their dentures have higher blood levels of a protein called interleukin 6, which indicates that the body is fighting an infection. Need we go on?

Promoting Good Health

Wearing dentures is supposed to improve your quality of life, not reduce it. To promote good health, take your dentures out at night and stick to a good daily oral hygiene routine:

  • Remove and rinse your dentures after every meal.
  • Brush your dentures at least once a day with a soft toothbrush or denture brush and dish soap, liquid antibacterial soap, or denture cleanser (but don’t use toothpaste — it is too abrasive).
  • Store your dentures in water or a solution made for this purpose.
  • Brush your gums and tongue daily with a soft toothbrush (not the same one you clean your dentures with).
  • Rinse your dentures in clean water before you put them back in your mouth.

If you would like more information on dentures and oral hygiene, please get in touch with us or schedule a consultation at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!

Updated: December 7, 2023

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