Every year, roughly a million Americans are hospitalized with pneumonia, an infection that causes air sacs in one or both lungs to become inflamed.
As with many illnesses, the elderly, the young, and people with weakened immune systems are at heightened risk for pneumonia.
But there’s a somewhat surprising thing that can also increase your chances for this often community-acquired illness: wearing your dentures while you sleep.
That’s right. A long-term study out of the Nihon University School of Dentistry in Japan that followed more than 500 seniors for three years found that overnight denture wearers were more than twice as likely to catch pneumonia as seniors who removed their dentures at night.
The study also found that wearing your dentures overnight increases your risk of:
- Dental plaque
- Growth of candida albicans, which causes oral thrush
- Oral inflammation
So how can you protect yourself from pneumonia this winter? You can start by taking great care of your dentures, and it’s easy to do when you have dentures you’re proud of! Jovan Prosthodontics custom-makes beautiful full and partial dentures in our in-house lab.
Read on for more information about properly caring for your dentures. Then, for all your denture needs, call Jovan Prosthodontics! Dr. Ace is a highly skilled specialist in prosthodontics, the field of dentistry focused on the restoration and replacement of teeth. You’ll feel confident in his care!
Call our Round Rock, TX office at (512) 937-1398 to schedule an appointment.
Should I Stop Sleeping In My Dentures?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to remove your dentures before bedtime and soak them in a water-based cleaning solution overnight. Not only is it a convenient time to clean your dentures, but it also gives your gums and your bones a chance to rest.
But according to the American College of Prosthodontics, it’s OK if you need to sleep while wearing your dentures — as long as you find some time during the day to properly clean them. You should never wear your dentures for 24 hours without cleaning them.
Though your dentures may look solid, acrylic dentures actually have microscopic pores that can harbor harmful bacteria. And because your prosthetic is made of acrylic, it doesn’t have any germ-fighting properties, so that bacteria can reproduce quickly within the denture.
Thoroughly and regularly cleaning your dentures will help keep disease-causing bacteria at bay and prevent illness. Since bacterial growth can also cause your dentures to take on an unpleasant odor, proper maintenance can also prevent bad breath.
Soaking your dentures in an overnight denture cleaner is a great way to make sure you’re killing germs hiding on and beneath the surface of your dentures. In fact, overnight denture cleaners can eradicate up to 99.9 percent of bacteria lingering on your prosthetic!
How Do I Properly Clean My Dentures?
Soaking your dentures overnight should be just one part of your daily denture care routine. Here are some other things you should be doing daily to prevent illness and keep your dentures in great shape.
- Rinse your dentures with water after you eat to remove lingering food particles.
- Whenever you remove your dentures, take a moment to clean your tongue, gums, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled toothbrush or a piece of gauze.
- Brush your dentures at least once a day with a special denture-specific toothbrush to remove food debris and denture adhesive residue.
- After you soak your dentures overnight, be sure to rinse them in water before putting them back in your mouth.
How Do I Make Sure My Dentures Maintain A Proper Fit?
Loose dentures can irritate your gums and even cause infection. Proper care will help your dentures fit well for years to come.
You should avoid exposing your dentures to hot or boiling water since the heat can warp the shape of your dentures. Similarly, bleaching products can weaken your dentures. You should avoid bleaching your dentures unless it’s done under your dentist’s direction.
Seeing the dentist regularly will also help your dentures keep their great fit. It’s recommended that you schedule a regular checkup and cleaning once every six months, but more than half of denture wearers admit that they rarely or never go to the dentist for a routine exam.
If you want to make sure you’re getting great care when it comes to your dentures, it’s a good idea to see a prosthodontist who has had years of training beyond dental school in the care and maintenance of dentures. When you come to Jovan Prosthodontics, you’ll know you’re in great hands!