It may be tempting for some people to fall asleep while wearing their dentures and, while having this happen once in a while is not terribly detrimental, making a habit of it is. Wanting your loved one to wake up to your smile is fine, but your gums need time to rest, too.
Pressure and Bone Loss
Wearing your dentures around the clock puts pressure on the gums and palate. Constant pressure accelerates jawbone resorption, a process of bone loss that ultimately results in a sunken look to the face. These structural changes can also cause your dentures to become loose and slip more easily.
Oral Hygiene, Your Health, and Your Dentures
Your dentures need to be cleaned and so do your gums and tongue. Rinsing your mouth prevents bacteria from accumulating between your palate and denture, reducing the risk of infection.
Left unchecked, this bacteria can travel from your mouth to other areas of your body where serious systemic issues can arise. In fact, a recent study involving nursing home residents showed that seniors who wore their dentures to sleep were more than twice as likely to develop pneumonia compared to those who took their dentures out.
Removing your dentures or partial at night while sleeping gives your gums and other soft tissues a chance to rest and benefit from the antibacterial qualities present in saliva.
Leaving your dentures in 24 hours a day causes irritation and, potentially, reduction in saliva production. This, in turn, leads to dry mouth and a decreased ability to fight off opportunistic infections caused by candida (yeast).
Maintaining a Good Oral Hygiene Routine with Dentures
In addition to removing your dentures at night, the following steps can ensure ideal oral hygiene and combat the destructive forces of resorption and dry mouth:
Remove your dentures and rinse them after eating.
Brush your dentures at least once a day with a soft toothbrush or denture brush and an antibacterial dish soap or denture cleanser. Avoid using toothpaste as it is too abrasive for dentures. Using an effervescent tablet in addition to brushing is fine, but should not be used as the sole means of cleaning your dentures.
Store your dentures in water when not in use to prevent them from drying out and attracting additional bacteria. Always rinse your dentures before returning them to your mouth.
If you are in South Los Angeles and have questions or concerns about your dentures, call Dr. Faulkner at Crenshaw-Slauson Family Dental today.