Your dentist has told you not to do it. Hopefully you don’t, but if you do sleep with your dentures in, this new study should change your mind. Researchers looking at seniors of very advanced age (85 or older), found that wearing dentures could more than double the risk of contracting pneumonia.

A Susceptible Population

dreamstime_s_28885238This study looked at more than 500 people over age 85 (average age 87.8), who were living in a community setting. They followed them for three years and found that there were 48 serious pneumonia events (including 20 deaths and 28 hospitalizations). In the 453 denture wearers, 186 did not remove their dentures at night, about 41% of the total, which seems a high number, given the common instruction to take dentures out. Among denture wearers, those who didn’t take their dentures out were 2.4 times more likely to develop pneumonia. This was more than the elevated risk associated with cognitive impairment (2.2) and history of respiratory disease (2.3).

Multiple Risks

Nor was pneumonia the only increased risk associated with wearing dentures at night. In fact, there were several other health consequences. People who slept with dentures in were more likely to have tongue and denture plaque, gum inflammation, presence of candida fungus, and higher levels of interleukin-6, a compound associated with the body fighting infection.

Although these are not as serious as the pneumonia risk, they are noteworthy because they can decrease the quality of life and lead to more serious consequences later on.

Proper Denture Care

If you want to properly maintain your dentures and your health, it’s important that you thoroughly clean your dentures daily and soak them overnight.

If you would like to learn more about proper denture care, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today.