What Can Happen When You Sleep with Dentures On?

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields May 10, 2021

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We wear our dentures from Reno to improve the appearance of our smile, but they can cause a lot of problems if we don’t take proper care of them. One of the most common pieces of advice that dentists give to their patients is not to wear their dentures when they sleep.  

That is because many potential dangers are associated with doing so. When you wear your dentures while you sleep, you're at risk of developing several health problems. 

Unfortunately, a significant number of patients still take this for granted and continue to wear their traditional dentures while they sleep. While they may think it won’t affect them in any way, they soon realize that the dentures meant to improve the quality of their smile will cause some misfortunes.  

Effects of Wearing Dentures While Sleeping  

  • Bacteria Buildup Could Lead to Pneumonia 

A study conducted in 2001 by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 22 percent of participants who wore their dentures while they slept had a buildup of bacteria underneath them.  

After some months, the bacteria under the dentures were associated with the likelihood of developing pneumonia. But how does this happen?  

Dentists strongly recommend that patients remove their dentures at night to clean them thoroughly. That is because wearing your dentures can lead to bacteria buildup in your prosthetic device during the day. Therefore, when you don't remove and clean them at night, you allow bacteria to stay in your mouth.  

The space between your gums and dentures is a perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth and wearing your dentures while sleeping makes it difficult to swallow saliva. But when it happens, this built-up saliva contaminated with harmful bacteria can make its way into your lungs and cause pneumonia.    

  • It Could Shorten the Life of Your Dentures 

The American Dental Association reports that people who wear their dentures while sleeping will have to replace them twice as often. That means their dentures will have a 50 percent shorter lifespan than those who don't wear them while they sleep.  

That happens because your mouth is acidic, and the longer your dentures are exposed to this environment, the faster they wear down. Dentures also need to be bacteria-free, which is why you clean them with a special solution. They're supposed to be submerged in this solution overnight so that you can wear them again the next day germ-free.  

  • You May Develop Sore Gums 

Another common problem with wearing your dentures while you sleep is that your gums may become irritated. That occurs because the space between your dentures and your gums is no longer moistened. This can lead to sore gums. You must understand that a denture is a prosthetic device and that wearing it at night can put constant pressure on your gums.  

This is especially harmful if you grind your teeth while sleeping.    

  • It May Lead to Inflammation 

Another possible problem with wearing your dentures while you sleep is inflammation. This is closely related to the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, causing your gums to be inflamed. Wearing your dentures during sleep also increases your risk of developing tongue and denture plaque and a positive culture for Candida albicans, a type of fungus that can cause an infection in your mouth.  

What are the Benefits of Putting Away Your Dentures at Night? 

Conversely, not wearing your dentures at night prevents negative effects and will also result in a few good things.  

  • Bone Loss Prevention 

Not wearing your dentures while you sleep can help prevent bone loss. That is because not wearing your dentures as much reduces the amount of occlusion pressure on your bone. Therefore, your bone may be able to develop more calcium than it normally would.  

That means that you can still get the therapeutic benefits of wearing dentures while you sleep without the negative side effects such as bone loss and bone fracture. 

  • Ensures a Tighter Fit 

One of the most difficult things that a person with dentures will deal with is finding a comfortable fit for their new prosthetic device. That happens because the space between your gums and dentures is not being filled with saliva. As a result, the denture does not properly fit the space in your mouth. This results in discomfort and pain.  

This pain can even force you to sleep with your mouth open. Therefore, putting your dentures away at night will help you easily slip them into place without pain. That is why dentists recommend that you put your dentures away at night and wear them again in the morning for a better fit and more comfort. 

  • Stops Bacteria Growth 

One of the other benefits of putting away your dentures at night is that it stops bacteria growth. When you wear your dentures while you sleep, the acids and microorganisms produced in your mouth seep into the area between your dentures and your gums, causing the bacteria to multiply and grow.  

This can cause odontogenic infections, resulting in gum swelling and pain. By putting your dentures away at night, the bacteria are not constantly exposed to your saliva, and therefore, they cannot multiply and grow as they would at night.  

  • Prevents Gum Inflammation 

Another benefit of putting away your dentures at night is preventing gum inflammation. Denture wearing at night blocks the normal flow of saliva, disallowing it to moisten your gums. As a result, you develop stomatitis, where your gums appear red and swollen and are prone to being yeast infected.  

Therefore, what may seem like simple disobedience to your dentist's recommendation will result in bigger problems, which may cost you more money for the dental treatments needed in the future.  

Take Care of Your Dentures from Reno

As you can see, sleep is not only your time to rest but for your dentures, as well. Putting them away at night can help you enjoy a better night of sleep and prevent many of the problems that come with wearing dentures while you sleep. It can also help your dentist perform their job more effectively.  

Therefore, if you get dentures, it's best to ask your dentist about what you need to do to lengthen the life of your prosthetic device. Following these recommendations by heart will help you get the smile you are proud to show. If you have additional questions and need more help with your dentures, call us at Smile Design Implant Centers today to book your appointment.

Get Your Smile Back

We at Smile Design Implant Center exist to help our patients transform their lives and improve their health and quality of life.  We believe that a beautiful, confident smile equates to a healthier, more fulfilling life. We strive to be the premier practice in dental transformation through service and technology.

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