Why You Shouldn’t Wear Dentures While You Sleep

You’ve heard it many times. Don’t wear your dentures as you sleep. It’s excellent and important advice. After all, it’s unnecessary and potentially harmful. But why?

Resorption may happen faster

One of the major downsides of wearing dentures in Dryden is that they contribute to a process called resorption by putting constant pressure on your gums and the bony material beneath your gums. That resorption process will eventually cause you to lose bone density and mass in your jaw. If you wear dentures while you sleep — and effectively 24 hours a day — you run the risk of accelerating the resorption process.

At its worst, the bone loss associated with the resorption process will reduce the support under your dentures and cause them to feel loose. The loss of bone matter will also eliminate some of the support and structure that defines your lips and cheeks. That loss of support can dramatically alter the appearance of your face.

You’ll increase your risk of serious illnesses

There is a link between wearing dentures overnight and the increased presence of denture plaque, inflamed gums, thrush, and the presence of white blood cells indicating an infection. Those findings underscore just how important it is not just to take your dentures out overnight but to clean them and soak them as instructed by the staff at your dental clinic in Dryden. Proper denture hygiene will reduce the presence of many bacteria and help to protect you from a serious illness.

In one worst-case scenario, a study of nursing home residents found that residents who kept their dentures in their mouth as they slept were two or more times as likely to require hospitalization for — or even die from — pneumonia. You can reduce your risk of bacterial accumulation and related health issues by taking your dentures out and cleaning them properly overnight.

You may develop an oral yeast infection

During the night time, your production of saliva in your mouth naturally decreases. That’s completely natural and does not usually cause problems, but can cause problems if you wear dentures overnight. Wearing dentures overnight can cause denture stomatitis, a condition that causes the tissues under your dentures to get red and inflamed and infected with yeast. Denture stomatitis is often accompanied by a disease called angular cheilitis. With angular cheilitis, you’ll notice cracks at the corner of your mouth and may develop a further infection with the yeast associated with denture stomatitis.

Treating and preventing denture stomatitis is as simple as leaving your dentures out at night and cleaning them as directed by a dental clinic near you. If a yeast infection has developed, your dentist may prescribe an anti-fungal medication.

Are there exceptions to the general rule?

It wouldn’t be a rule if there weren’t exceptions. Are there situations in which you should wear dentures near you at night? Yes, but only at the direction of the dentist at a dental clinic in Dryden. There are two situations your dentist might discuss with you.

First, if you are given your dentures immediately after the extraction of your own natural teeth, your dentist may tell you to leave them in your mouth for 24 hours without removing them that first night. Rather, your dentist may remove them at an appointment the next day. Leaving your dentures in place for that first 24-hour period can help you to recover from your extraction surgery.

Second, your dentist may recommend a variation to your denture-wearing and hygiene habits may vary slightly if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In some cases, wearing dentures at night can help prevent some of the risks of OSA. Even if you do wear your dentures overnight for that reason, though, they still must be removed from your mouth for at least five or six hours every day. In that case, your dentist may recommend that you remove them during awake hours rather than sleeping hours.

If you have any questions about maintaining your health while wearing dentures or how to deal with any unusual or concerning symptoms that you’re experiencing, contact a dentist near you.