Health Problems Related to Sleeping in Dentures

Dentures, also referred to as removable false teeth, provide several benefits to people who have lost their natural teeth. They help them to regain their ability to eat a broad variety of foods— including both hard and soft. They help the wearer to speak more openly, as well as smile naturally and with confidence. However, it is critical to note that there are also some health problems and consequences that arise from wearing dentures— especially while sleeping or for long hours. Dentures that are not removed at night can become breeding grounds for all types of fungi, bacteria and other disease causing organisms. That’s what makes them potentially dangerous. In this discussion, we are going to go over sleeping in dentures, so as to help people wearing dentures have a healthy lifestyle.

sleeping in dentures

Sleeping in Dentures, Details

One study has provided empirical evidence that sleeping in dentures is commonly associated with microbial agents and inflammatory responses among patients. The same survey has proven that people who wear dentures during the night or while sleeping are more likely to have denture and tongue plaque and increased blood levels of interleukin. Interleukin is a protein made by the white blood cells that shows that the body is fighting infections. Also, wearing dentures continually, especially at night, may cause the diminishing of the natural flow of saliva in the mouth. While sleeping, the mouth builds up the moisture which is swallowed naturally by your body. This mechanism is difficult when one is wearing the dentures. Instead of the body taking that excess fluid (saliva), it pulls it into the lungs putting one at risk of developing various breathing difficulties—including pneumonia. This inhibition may also result in another condition known as denture stomatitis. The stomatitis affects the tissues under the dentures occurring under the full upper dentures known to cover the palate. It becomes inflamed and reddened with yeast. The inflammation and reddening are accompanied by diseases known as angular cheilitis that cracks the corner of the mouth.

Sleeping in dentures also gives the bacteria more time to affect your gums. You may notice after some time that new plaque builds-up on the tongue which causes bad breath. The gums become swollen and very painful; failing to hold the dentures in position. Due to constant pressure as a result of carrying the dentures, you may also experience sores on the gums.

A survey conducted a few years ago involving 542 randomly chosen seniors who were nursing home residents, showed that those who wore the dentures while sleeping were 2.3 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from pneumonia as compared to those who took the dentures out while sleeping. This study also noted that breathing is a critical means of moving the pneumonia-causing bacteria from the mouth into the lungs. It was noted that most of the seniors start their denture journey by doing everything perfectly, and then all of a sudden start sleeping with their dentures and begin wondering why they experience inflammation of the gums and other mouth related health problems. The moment they stopped this habit of sleeping with their dentures, they were able to do away with some of these health problems. Especially among those whose problems had not advanced to a stage of being hospitalized for special treatment.

Whether you wear partial or full dentures, taking them out regularly, and especially at night before sleeping gives your gums and denture tissues an opportunity for resting. It also helps them to recover from wear and tear as well as receive essential exposure to antibacterial agents that are naturally present in the saliva. The denture stomatitis mentioned above is treated by cleaning the dentures thoroughly and leaving them out at night. Yeast infection, on the other hand, is treated by anti-fungal or anti-yeast medication and chlorhexidine prescription rinses that should be prescribed by a dentist before use. For breathing difficulties and protection from pneumonia, the only solution is removing the dentures at night and maintaining dental hygiene. A perfect oral hygiene routine for people who wear dentures should include some steps as highlighted below:

  1.  Rinse after removing your dentures regularly after eating and before sleeping
  2.  Use a soft toothbrush to brush the dentures regularly at least once a day. You can use denture brush or nail brush with denture cleanser or liquid antibacterial soap while cleaning your dentures. You can find all these denture cleaning requirements on Amazon. Never use toothpaste to clean the dentures since it is too abrasive. Using a fizzing tablet cannot substitute for this manual cleaning. It might take some time and effort to get rid of the film or plaque or film that often develops on the dentures.
  3.  Store the dentures in the water or in an alkaline peroxide solution that is specially made for this storage purpose.
  4.  Brush the tongue and gums every day using an extra-soft toothbrush before wearing the dentures. The brush should not be the one you use to clean the dentures.
  5. Remember to rinse the dentures before putting them back in your mouth.

Wearing dentures is supposed to enhance and improve the quality of your life— not reduce it. Lack of natural teeth does not mean that your dental hygiene is not critical. You need to pay regular attention to your oral hygiene even when you have dentures. Sleeping in dentures will put your health status at risk since it will prevent you from maintaining safe and healthy oral hygiene. There is no reason to put your entire health at risk when you can just remove your dentures before sleeping. Promote your good health by taking out the dentures out at night and stick to a daily oral hygiene routine.

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