If you love the look and feel of your denture you may be tempted to keep them in 24 hours a day—including sleeping with them. Some patients report feeling self-conscious when they don’t have their denture in, especially if there’s a chance of a partner or family member seeing them toothless in the middle of the night. But the reality is that even the most comfortable partial or full dentures weren’t designed to be worn all day, as the task of supporting a denture can put stress on jaw bone and gum tissue.
Giving You Gums and Jaw a Break
Though dentures look incredibly natural there are some significant differences between artificial and natural teeth. Our natural teeth have roots that are supported by jaw bone and surrounded by gum tissue. The shape and size of each tooth enhances self-cleansing and is further achieved by the action of brushing and flossing that not only removes food debris and bacteria but also massages gum tissue and stimulates circulation. Wearing a denture involves an appliance being worn over jaw bone and gum tissue, creating a barrier between saliva and air, and oral tissues. When a denture is constantly being worn gums don’t have an opportunity to breathe and can quickly become inflamed as a result of trapped food particles and oral bacteria forming a film on delicate tissue and the underside of the appliance.
Taking Your Denture Out So That it Can Be Cleaned
The very design of dentures makes rinsing away bacteria and food particles tricky as we would have to create somewhat of a tidal wave in our mouth to access underneath the denture. Removing your denture at bedtime not only gives your gums and palate a chance to be free from pressure and plaque buildup. It also provides an opportunity to clean the denture so that stains, odors, and oral bacteria are removed. Though you may give your denture a quick brush during the day—soaking the appliance in a cleaner that your Calgary Denturist recommends will keep your denture looking and feeling its best—and keep oral tissues in optimal condition.
Recent studies report that continued wear of a denture increases the risk of gum and bone inflammation, which can develop into an infection and put a patient at risk for developing pneumonia. Don’t forget to remove your denture at bedtime so that you can clean gum tissue and the appliance.