Imagine it’s the end of a long day. Your feet are up, you’re unwinding with a soothing cuppa, and you feel comfortably tired. If you’re among the many Australians wearing dentures, you may start contemplating whether to remove your dentures for the night or keep them in. This article aims to answer the query: should you remove dentures at night?
The Importance of Removing Dentures at Night
Many people think it’s harmless to wear dentures overnight. However, keeping your dentures in while you sleep can result in several dental health problems, like denture stomatitis, gum disease, and even bone loss. It can also increase the risk of developing pneumonia, especially among older adults.
The mouth is a natural place for bacteria to grow, and wearing dentures can sometimes create an environment for harmful bacteria to thrive, leading to a condition called denture stomatitis. A yeast infection causes this inflammation of the gums and is most common among those who sleep with dentures.
Keeping Gums Healthy
Just as your body needs time off to rejuvenate, so do your gums. Keeping your dentures in around the clock can lead to irritated and swollen gums. No matter how well your dentures fit, they still exert a certain level of pressure on your gums. Over time, this can spark inflammation.
Taking a breather from your dentures at night gives your gums a much-needed break. This rest period can help prevent gum disease and avoid other oral health troubles. So, think of it as tucking your gums into bed for a good night’s sleep, paving the way for healthier gums and a brighter smile.
Caring for Your Dentures
Denture care is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and extending the lifespan of your dentures. After removing your dentures at night, you should keep them in a denture cleaning solution overnight. A denture cleanser can help kill harmful bacteria and maintain the quality of your false teeth.
It’s also essential to clean your dentures with a denture brush (a soft toothbrush) and a non-abrasive denture cleaner. Regular toothpaste is generally too harsh for dentures and causes damage over time. Remember, even if you have full dentures, keeping your mouth moist and brushing your gums and tongue is important.
Partial Dentures and Natural Teeth
If you wear partial dentures, you still have some natural teeth. These teeth require care, and leaving dentures in at night can inhibit your ability to care for your remaining teeth properly. It can increase the chance of getting gum disease and cavities in your natural teeth. Therefore, those who wear partial dentures should also remove them at night.
Immediate Dentures: An Exception to the Rule
An exception to this rule is immediate dentures, which are temporary dentures fitted immediately after tooth extraction. You may be advised to wear immediate dentures at night for the first few days. These dentures act as a bandage to control swelling and aid healing.
However, once the healing process is underway, it’s best to resume the practice of removing your dentures at night. Always follow the expert advice of your prosthetist when it comes to immediate dentures.
The Balance of Wearing Dentures
It’s crucial to remember that dentures are not natural teeth and thus require a different care routine. While it’s essential to wear dentures during the day to maintain normal functioning, such as eating and speaking, removing them at night is equally critical. This balance allows your gums to recuperate while ensuring you get accustomed to wearing dentures, which serve their purpose.
Denture Wearer’s Responsibilities
As a denture wearer, your responsibilities extend beyond just putting on and removing dentures. Maintaining your oral hygiene and keeping your mouth clean and fresh is necessary. Before putting your dentures back on every morning, rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash. This can eliminate any oral bacteria that may have accumulated overnight.
The Risks of Wearing Dentures Overnight
Sleeping with your dentures in might seem harmless, even more convenient. However, a study has found that individuals who wear their dentures during sleep are more likely to have tongue and denture plaque, gum inflammation, positive culture for Candida albicans, and higher levels of circulating interleukin-6, indicating a systemic inflammatory state that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Role of Saliva
Saliva plays a big role in maintaining your mouth’s health. It aids digestion, helps us taste food, and keeps our mouths clean by washing away food particles and bacteria. When you sleep with your dentures in, the saliva flow is restricted, which can increase oral bacteria and potentially cause oral health problems.
The Impact of Ill-Fitting Dentures
Ill-fitting dentures can cause many problems, including sores, infections, and difficulties eating and speaking. If you feel discomfort, pain or notice signs of infection, such as red, swollen gums, it’s vital to see your prosthetist. They can adjust the dentures to improve the fit and ensure you’re not causing unnecessary damage to your oral health by wearing dentures that don’t fit properly.
Refresh and Cleanse
When you take out your dentures for the night, it’s the perfect opportunity to give your mouth a bit of a refresh as well. Pop the kettle on and pour yourself a glass of water. You see, keeping hydrated isn’t just great for your body; it’s also key for a healthy mouth. Drinking water helps wash away any pesky leftover bacteria or food particles. So, by simply enjoying a glass of water, you’re doing your mouth a world of good.
Certain medical conditions or medications may cause a dry mouth, leading to increased oral bacteria and potential infection. In these instances, removing your dentures at night and cleaning them properly becomes even more important.
Conclusion: To Remove or Not to Remove
So, should you remove dentures at night? Absolutely! It’s a simple step that can aid in averting gum inflammation, denture stomatitis, and other oral health issues.
But let’s not forget that everyone’s mouth is unique. So, if you’re unsure or have any questions about your dentures, always have a yarn with your prosthetist. Here at Custom Denture Clinic, we offer comprehensive services to ensure you get the most from your dentures. Keen to learn more about denture care and oral health? Book a consultation with our experts at Custom Denture Clinic today.