Dr Michael Smith D.M.D.

6 Things to Know About Wearing Dentures 24/7

Dentures are an incredibly popular way to restore someone’s smile and help them regain their self-confidence. But when it comes to wearing dentures 24/7, there is a lot that you need to take into consideration. For example, should you sleep with your dentures in? What kind of maintenance is needed for nighttime wear? And what effect might round-the-clock use have on your gum and oral health? 

Dentures can be transformative for patients who suffer from missing or broken teeth, allowing them to eat, speak, and laugh with confidence in social situations and improve their overall quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore all of these questions and more so that you can wear your dentures confidently without any worries!

Can you wear dentures 24/7? 

Wearing dentures 24/7 is a bad habit that can have unintended consequences affecting both your health and the longevity of your dentures. Let’s discuss some of the real reasons why it is not OK to wear dentures all day and all night:

1. Unhealthy Tissue

Imagine the bacteria present and the smell released if you were to wear your shoes continually for weeks at a time, never taking them off to allow your skin to breathe. The skin that covers your feet requires air circulation in order to remain healthy.

2. Denture Stomatitis

Denture stomatitis is a condition of the tissues that line the inside of the mouth. It occurs in areas that are covered by dentures and causes inflammation of the underlying tissue. The fiery red, swollen tissue may also be accompanied by a burning sensation that can be quite painful, making dentures difficult to wear.

3. Respiratory Issues

By exposing your mouth and throat to the bacteria present on dentures while sleeping, you increase your risk for colds, respiratory infections, and pneumonia. Wearing dentures 24/7 makes you twice as likely to develop life-threatening pneumonia compared to someone who routinely removes their dentures while they sleep.

4. Accelerated Bone Loss

Dentures put added pressure on the gum tissue and bony ridges that support them. Constant pressure from wearing dentures all day and all night accelerates bone resorption, a process that results in a gradual decrease in bone quantity and density. With bone loss comes inadequate support for the dentures, causing them to not fit correctly and fall out more easily.

5. Adequate Cleaning

People who are wearing dentures 24/7 typically spend less time cleaning their dentures than people who soak them while sleeping. Dentures become coated with bacteria and plaque that must be removed daily. Plaque that is not completely removed will lead to the formation of toxin-containing tartar.

Oral hygiene must be maintained to keep your mouth healthy and prolong the life of your dentures. Once tartar forms, it becomes hardened and very difficult to remove. Tartar buildup not only affects the appearance of your dentures; it can also affect their fit. Removing the dentures allows you to spend more time caring for them.

6. An Exception

There is one main exception to the rule: it is OK to wear dentures all day and all night for the first few nights after having teeth extracted when immediate dentures are placed. There are specific reasons for this:

  • Bleeding Control: The pressure applied by your dentures helps to control bleeding.
  • Swelling: Post-operative swelling may prevent you from reinserting your dentures if they are removed for more than a few hours.
  • Bone Conforms to Denture: The denture helps shape the pliable bone after extractions.

Once 72 hours have passed after having extractions, a regular denture hygiene routine should be established that includes removing your dentures while you sleep.

Can I Sleep in My Dentures?

The short answer is: You can wear your dentures all day and all night but it is not recommended or advisable. Wearing dentures to bed leads to health issues that have very real consequences ranging from sore gums to pneumonia. It is far easier to take steps to prevent the problem than it is to resolve it once it occurs. This article about wearing dentures at night discusses some of the health contraindications of wearing dentures 24/7.