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Keeping Dentures in or Taking Dentures Out? 

As a recommendation, dentures should always be taken out when going to sleep. Though this may be true, sleeping with dentures out may not be for everyone. This information is intended to help you decide whether you should sleep with them out or why you may need to keep them in.

  • Circulation
    • Like all soft tissue in our body circulation is vital for health. If your denture is in all the time, circulation is restricted. When circulation is restricted, fresh blood with nutrients & oxygen are restricted which can cause gum irritation and accelerate ridge resorption.
    • Imagine a long day wearing your socks. When you take them off you can see the grooves on your ankle. The socks restrict circulation just like your dentures do in your mouth.
    • Sleeping with them out allows your gums to breathe while replenishing blood flow and nutrients overnight.
  • Bacteria
    • The saliva sitting underneath your dentures all night creates the perfect environment for bacteria to harbor
    • The Bacteria can cause gum irritation and halitosis (bad breath)
    • Studies have shown the elderly population with poor oral hygiene who sleep with dentures in have a higher risk of pneumonia
  • Breathing
    • Studies have shown that wearing dentures to sleep can increase cases of sleep apnea.
  • Clenching or Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
    • Clenching and grinding while wearing your dentures to sleep can be very hard on your teeth, dentures and your gums underneath. This causes accelerated wear to teeth and gums and increases the possibility of breaking your denture.
    • Sleeping with dentures out can help or hinder your jaw, so if sleeping with your dentures reduces the pain in your jaw be sure to look into a mouth guard to protect your dentures
    • Clenching and Grinding can also be from a denture that is loose or too worn down. Your mouth will clench to keep dentures in place.
  • How Dentures Fit
    • Dentures fitting too Tight can cause gum irritation, sore spots, inflammation and lack of circulation resulting in bone loss
    • Dentures fitting too Loose can cause movement in dentures resulting in gum irritation, sore spots, clenching, and denture breakage. The rubbing of dentures can cause accelerated bone loss

If you decide to sleep with your dentures in, here are some tips to keep your mouth and gums healthy.

  • Oral hygiene is very important, make sure you clean your dentures properly before you go to bed and in the morning.
    • Use a soft bristle toothbrush for your gums.
    • Use alcohol free mouthwash with a soft bristle toothbrush and lightly brush and massage your gums. This will clean and help to promote circulation to your gums
    • If the soft bristle brush is too abrasive or it tickles too much, use a warm wet face cloth and your finger to clean and massage your gums.
  • Have a set time at night where you can take your dentures out at night before bed so you have some time for the gums to rest.
    • Does not need to be at night time, a more accommodating time throughout the day works as well.
    • As long as you can make time to let your gums rest anytime works.
  • Assess your mouth and gums on a regular basis;
    • Do your gums seem to be more red than usual when you take your dentures out?
    • Are your gums looking or feeling irritated?
    • Constantly getting sore spots?
    • Are your gums looking puffy or swollen?
    • Is your jaw tired or sore in the morning when you wake up?
  • Consider investing in a mouth guard to protect your dentures at night, especially if you have a tendency to clench or grind.
  • Keep up with your yearly oral exam yearly and recommended scheduled relines usually every 2 years
  • If your dentures are worn down and loose, it may be time to look into a new set of dentures.
    • The recommended replacement is every 5 – 7 years



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