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Wearing Dentures While You Sleep? Learn Why You Shouldn’t

  • January 21, 2015

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, an estimated 90 percent of edentulous Americans (those who are missing all of their teeth) have dentures. While proper denture care and regular visits to the dentist are enough to ensure continued oral health after tooth loss, many people who wear dentures may not be aware of one particularly dangerous habit: wearing dentures to bed. At LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania in Collegeville, PA and Williamsport, PA, Dr. David DiGiallorenzo strives to keep his patients healthy and enjoying their smiles for life. Part of this endeavor is patient education, particularly when it comes to adverse medical effects related to dental care.

Sleeping with Dentures and Your Lungs

In a recent study conducted in Japan, it was discovered that elderly patients who wore their dentures to sleep were at an increased risk for developing potentially fatal pneumonia. In fact, a substantial number of the men and women studied were hospitalized during the course of the study due to pulmonary infections, including pneumonia. It is believed that the connection lies in the amount of oral bacteria, inflammation, and dental plaque buildup in mouths that held dentures all night.

Of the 524 denture-wearing senior citizens studied, 40.8 percent reported wearing their removable dentures while they slept. The results of the study showed that these 186 individuals were substantially more inclined to experience problems with the tongue, gum inflammation, and an abnormal accumulation of plaque as compared to the men and women who removed their dentures at night. While pneumonia is often relatively easy to treat in younger patients, elderly men and women are more likely to experience severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death from the aggressive respiratory illness. This is yet another reason that it is so important to pay close attention to the state of our oral health as we age.

Proper Denture Care for a Healthier Body

Dr. DiGiallorenzo and his staff emphasize not only dental health, but total body wellness at LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania, providing our patients with the tools and information they need to enjoy a lifetime of strong, beautiful smiles. Contact us today to learn more about how simple habits – like removing your dentures before bed – can make a big difference in your overall physical well-being. With two convenient office locations in Williamsport, PA and Collegeville, PA, we proudly serve patients from throughout nearby communities in Pottstown, Bloomberg, Lock Haven, Sunbury, and beyond.