Sleeping in Dentures Linked to Pneumonia?

Teeth are extremely important in helping us with day-to-day functions, including eating and speaking. Not to mention, they are important elements of our smiles! If you’re missing your natural teeth, whether from tooth decay, periodontal disease, or other oral health problems, complete or partial dentures can be a great option to help improve your smile and health. Recently, poor oral health has been recognized as putting the elderly at a major risk for pneumonia.

Dentures are custom-made to resemble your natural teeth. Listed below are the different types of dentures:

  • Conventional dentures are both full and removable. It is made and usable once the remaining natural teeth are removed and tissues have healed.
  • Immediate dentures are also both full and removable, but can be inserted immediately once the remaining natural teeth are removed.
  • Overdentures are placed over a few remaining natural teeth, which help preserve your jawbone and offer stability for the denture.
  • Partial dentures are often used when a few natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. They also help prevent other teeth from shifting.

In Japan, researchers at Nihon University School of Dentistry conducted a 3-year study examining oral health habits and incidents of pneumonia in 524 randomly selected elders of 85 years of age or older. According to the study, individuals who wore dentures during sleep tended to have poor oral health habits, fewer visits to the dentist, and plaque build-up. It was found that 48 deaths and hospitalization cases of pneumonia were identified. Of the 453 individuals who wore dentures, 40.8% who wore their dentures when sleeping were at higher risk for pneumonia than those who took their dentures before bed. This is approximately a 2.3-fold higher risk of the incidence of pneumonia.

Further, those who slept with their dentures were more likely to have tongue and denture plaque, gum inflammation, positive culture for Candida albicans (a form of yeast), and higher levels of  interleukin-6 (involved in inflammation and infection). It is recommended not to wear dentures during the night to avoid risk of these health problems.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene even if you wear dentures. Dentures should be rinsed and brushed daily just like regular teeth. It is easy for bacteria to collect, causing bad breath and damaging your gums. Brushing your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth before putting in dentures is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth!

When you go to sleep, don’t forget to take your dentures out of your mouth and place them aside in a glass of water!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.



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