If you have a full set of dentures, you may be delighted with their natural look and function. However, it can be inconvenient to take them out every night when you go to bed. So, can you leave your dentures in place 24/7?
Here's why you should not wear your dentures overnight.
When you wear your dentures, they put pressure on your gums and on the bone beneath. This pressure gradually causes bone reabsorption, leading to a decrease in the volume and density of the bone. This loss of bone can lead to the dentures becoming loose, and failing to support the lips and cheeks, causing changes in your facial appearance.
Bone reabsorption will occur more quickly if you wear your dentures around the clock.
The surfaces underneath your dentures can harbour colonies of bacteria and fungi, causing bad breath and irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth.
If you wear your dentures overnight, you could suffer from plaque on your tongue and dentures, leading to sore and inflamed gums. Thrush is another common oral disease that can result from wearing your dentures overnight. Stomatitis is another inflammatory condition that can affect denture wearers, and this is exacerbated by wearing dentures for long periods.
Keeping your dentures in at night also prevents your mouth from producing sufficient saliva, leading to a dry mouth. Saliva produces beneficial antibacterial agents that help fight disease so it is important that your mouth's production of saliva is not interrupted.
Although all these unpleasant conditions can be treated quickly and easily by maintaining good oral hygiene practices and a course of mild antibiotics, it is much better to prevent the conditions from developing in the first place by removing your dentures overnight and allowing your mouth to rest.
Wearing dentures during the night can lead to the inhalation of disease-causing bacteria into your lungs and therefore into your body. For example, elderly people can be at risk of inhaling pneumonia-causing bacteria, potentially leading to very serious illness.
There are many benefits to be gained from wearing dentures, and they can look very natural. However, you can't treat your dentures in the same way as you would do dental implants or crowns, since they must be removed overnight. For more advice and guidance on how to look after your dentures and on good oral hygiene practices, have a chat with your dentist.