Sleeping with Your Dentures: Why Would You Do It, and What's the Harm?
Occasionally dozing off with your dentures still in your mouth is unlikely to cause any major issues in terms of your dental health. It can be a different matter when you deliberately leave your dentures in each night when you sleep. But what's the harm? There are some key reasons why you might prefer to sleep with your dentures in your mouth, but there are also some key reasons as to why it's a bad idea.
Your gums and the general interior of your mouth need time to rest, time without the dentures. Since you need them to aid with eating and speaking, your nightly sleep is the perfect (and indeed, the most logical) time for this break to occur. If it becomes a regular habit, sleeping with your dentures can be detrimental to your overall dental health. Studies have shown that this prolonged contact between your dentures and your gums can result in the development of a fungal infection known as candidiasis, which is a type of oral thrush.
Worryingly, the study also shows that those who wear their dentures at night also have in increased risk of pneumonia. So while there are important reasons why you shouldn't wear your dentures at night, you also have to address just why you might be tempted to do so.
It might be that keeping your dentures in your mouth at all times increases your comfort levels. You might experience some discomfort or irritation when you put your dentures in your mouth in the morning, much like when you were getting used to your dentures for the first time. For this reason, you might have opted to leave your dentures in overnight in order to avoid this morning discomfort. And yet this can indicate a problem with your dentures.
Minor damage, even a light scraping might have created irregular edges on your dentures. It might even be that your dentures need to be refitted so that they fit properly (which needs to periodically happen). You shouldn't experience this morning discomfort when your dentures are put into place each day, and some straightforward denture repairs can easily overcome the problem.
You should always follow professional instructions with regards to the overnight process for your dentures. This will generally involve allowing them to soak in a recommended denture cleanser. Don't be tempted to leave your dentures in overnight for the purpose of comfort and convenience. If they are uncomfortable, they need to be professionally assessed.