Dentures are a great way to quickly restore your missing teeth. But whether you wear full dentures to replace all of your teeth or partial dentures to replace just a few missing teeth, you should never wear them to bed. You need to take them out, place them in water or a denture-cleaning solution, and put them back in your mouth when you wake up in the morning. Why? Find out!
First and foremost, it’s important to relieve pressure on your gums and jaw bone. This is particularly important with full dentures, which fit tightly over your gums and your jaw. Removing your dentures at night lets the tissues below your denture relax, which can help them retain their shape over time.
In contrast, leaving your dentures in your mouth overnight means your gums and jaw can’t get any relief from this pressure, which could cause discomfort or even issues with the fit of your dentures in the long run.
One reason you should remove your dentures at night is because you can clean them thoroughly before you store them at night, using an unscented, clear dishwashing liquid or specialized denture cleaner.
You also should be brushing your gums every day to remove bacteria and food debris. You don’t have to use toothpaste, though you can if you want to.
If you don’t take your dentures out at night to clean them, or at least clean them and your mouth every 24 hours, you’ll have a higher risk of gum issues, infections, and other complications.
Even the best dentures can have “hot spots” that may cause you a bit of discomfort from time-to-time. When you take them out at night, your gum tissue can relax, and the dentures will no longer be pressing in these “hot spots.”
But if you wear your dentures overnight and continue to wear them 24 hours a day, this pressure can build, and cause irritation or even visible inflammation or tissue damage to your gums. The 7-8 hours you’re sleeping is a good time for your gums to recover, and helps prevent sore spots.
Dentures can trap yeast, bacteria, food particles, and other debris between your gums and the denture appliance. This is particularly bad at night, when saliva production tends to decrease heavily, particularly among those who are 65+ years of age.
This, in turn, leads to a higher risk of oral infections, particularly yeast infections like thrush (oral candidiasis). Removing your dentures and cleaning them and your mouth helps prevent this issue.
We hope you’ve learned a bit more about dentures and the importance of proper oral hygiene in this blog. Need a new set of dentures? Have questions about caring for your mouth after tooth loss? Contact Mestichelli Barnes Dental Associates right away for a consultation with a dentist in South Philadelphia to get the expert care you need.