The Hazards Of Sleeping In Your Dentures.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

A recent study has found that elderly patients who wear dentures while they sleep have a higher risk of developing pneumonia. The study included over 450 denture wearers and tracked their oral health and hygiene as well as medical status. Nearly 41% of the participants reported that they slept in their dentures.

The three-year study found that those who wore their dentures while sleeping had a higher risk for pneumonia than those who slept without their dentures. Additionally, this group was more likely to have gum inflammation, plaque buildup on the tongue and denture and be more prone to other oral health issues.

When dentures are worn 24/7, oral bacteria reproduce on a continual basis. In addition to an increased risk of pneumonia, this can lead to other problems, including:

Halitosis – Bad breath is a common problem for denture wearers. The material that forms the gum portion of dentures is porous and provides a dark, warm and moist breeding ground for bacteria. Oral bacteria growth leads to the formation of plaque and frequent bad breath.

Mouth Irritation – Loose dentures can move while eating and create sore spots on tender gum tissue.

Burning Mouth Syndrome – Dentures can place stress on facial muscles and oral tissues. This can lead to pain and soreness in the mouth that tends to worsen throughout the day. It also causes an increase in thirst and loss of taste.

Oral Thrush – The fungus Candida albicans can overgrow in the mouth, creating lesions on the tongue and cheeks.

Bone Loss –  Wearing dentures places pressure on the upper and lower jaw (the gum ridge that supports your denture), which causes the bone to shrink. Wearing dentures all day and all night creates continual pressure, which accelerates the rate of bone loss.

Although many people are committed to wearing dentures or partials, we in the dental field typically recommend Dental Implants for a number of reasons. If your denture is uncomfortable or you are concerned about associated health risks, call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation to discuss your potential for Dental Implants.

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