For individuals that require dentures for daily use, you know how much of a lifesaver they are. Never again do you have to worry about cavities, flossing each individual tooth, root canals, annual clean-ups and the other necessities required for a radiant smile. All you have to do is apply grip, pop in your dentures and you’re ready to tackle the day!
But what about when the time comes to take your dentures out? Cleaning aside, should you take your teeth out when you climb into bed for the night, or when you decide to take a nap? While many healthcare professionals claim that leaving your dentures overnight won’t cause any medical issues, it is not advised.
Here’s what you need to know about maintaining optimal mouth health while living with dentures.
Why Is Sleeping in Dentures Bad?
While there are many health-related risks associated with wearing dentures without taking them out, the most immediate one is bacteria buildup.
Have you had a moment in your life where you wore your dentures for a long time? More often than not, you caught a whiff of bad breath floating through the air. “Is that me?” you may ask yourself. Foul-smelling breath arises when food and drink particles become compacted between the surface of your dentures and gums.
Should these particles go unnoticed or uncleaned, your breath will begin to catch people off guard. For this reason, remember to take your dentures out before bed and place them into a cleaning solution.
What Are the Potential Health Risks If You Wear Dentures All the Time?
Although stinky breath is something we all find embarrassing, there are real health ramifications from chronic denture usage. A recent article showed data that linked the risk of pneumonia and pneumonia-like symptoms within individuals that regularly wore their dentures overnight. Patients in nursing homes that wore their dentures while they slumbered were at far greater risk of becoming sick, and in some cases, dying.
The article explains how harmful bacteria on the surface of your dentures can pass into your airway while you sleep. These particles can then cause the lungs to become inflamed, infected and fill with fluid. When that happens, it’s not a pretty sight!
What Are the Signs That Your Dentures Are Causing Problems?
To ensure your safety and life-long health, you need to pay attention to the warning sides associated with denture problems. Although there are a plethora of telltale signs that may indicate something is wrong, here are the most common:
- Tenderness and soreness around your gumline.
- Blood or pus in your saliva.
- Erratic speech patterns and difficulty formulating words.
- Frequent migraines and jaw pain.
- Excessive dryness inside your mouth and throat.
- Remnants of blood or discoloration inside of your dentures.
- Trouble swallowing and chewing food.
- Pain that arises within the face, neck or throat.
- Your dentures have become too loose or too tight to wear comfortably.
It’s also important to remember that while dentures can provide a breathtaking smile, they can cause damage in the longterm future. When dentures are pressed against your gums and underlying bone, it creates causes something referred to as resportion. This process causes bone density within the jaw to become weak and frail over time, leading to numerous adverse health problems.
When Should You Talk To Your Dentist About Your Dentures Causing Problems?
Let’s face it; you’re bound to have random aches and pains when you have dentures. That’s completely normal. You should consult your doctor or dentist when the pain and sensations that you feel become chronic and cause pain that renders you unable to perform basic tasks.
Have you found blood and pus in your saliva for more than a week? Do the sores inside your mouth and along your gumline render you unable to enjoy certain foods? Are your gums so swollen that your dentures no longer fit as intended? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to consult with your dentist immediately.
Life on Your Terms
If you want to enjoy a radiant smile and a mouth that’s pain-free, we highly encourage you to remove your dentures before going to bed. This habit may be somewhat difficult to follow in the upcoming weeks and months, but it will provide you with peace of mind and a smile that captures everyone’s attention.
Moreover, if you or someone that you love is suffering from pain, swelling, bleeding, discoloration or other denture-related symptoms, never hesitate to contact your dentist. Doing so will prevent bacteria buildup, chronic illness and prolong your life.