Dentures are among the most tried-and-true of all tooth replacement options, having assisted countless generations of patients with missing teeth and drastically impacted daily life. Receiving dentures can be a transformative experience for many patients; in fact, the increased oral functionality, aesthetic benefits, and boost to self-esteem might lead patients to never want to remove their new teeth. However, this isn’t wise! Keep reading below to learn more about dentures and why it’s going to be in your absolute best interest to remove them on a regular, daily basis.
Can I Wear My Dentures 24/7?
Even though dentures replace teeth, they aren’t intended to serve as a “full-time” solution for them; rather, they need to be taken out for a few hours every day and should not be worn 24/7. The exception to this rule is when you first receive the dentures; you’ll need to wear them without interruptions for usually the first few nights, to help your gums become accustomed to them.
However, once this period has passed, you’ll want to adopt the habit of removing your dentures for six to eight hours each day. Many patients conform to this guideline by taking out their dentures before going to bed at night, and it grants their gum tissue the much-needed rest it deserves after supporting your dentures all day long.
What Problems Can Arise from Wearing My Dentures All Day?
Several different problems can arise from wearing dentures incorrectly, including:
- The soft tissue that’s continually covered up by a denture will never be exposed to fresh air, meaning it’s extra vulnerable to bacterial growth that can spawn oral infections.
- Denture stomatitis can occur, which is a condition that causes inflammation of the oral tissues that are covered by dentures. This chronic inflammation can weaken and suppress the body’s immune system, further increasing the risk of other diseases.
- If your dentures are left inside your mouth for too long, you’re also at an increased risk for respiratory issues including colds or even pneumonia.
- Dentures put added pressure on the gum tissue and bony ridges that support them, meaning that the constant burden from being worn all day can accelerate bone resorption, the process by which bone quantity and density decrease.
When Shouldn’t I Wear My Dentures?
To simplify things, here are some specific instances when you shouldn’t wear your dentures, in order to prevent the development of certain problems:
- Don’t wear your dentures while sleeping, as this can lead to accelerated bone loss and diseases that affect your overall health, in addition to straining your oral tissues.
- If you’re experiencing pain or sore spots due to wearing your dentures, you should refrain from wearing them until you’ve seen your dentist.
- Ill-fitting dentures can cause oral pain as well as diminished chewing power; if you must use excessive amounts of adhesive to hold your denture in place, it might be time for a reline or new restoration entirely.
In addition to wearing your dentures as often as instructed, be sure that you’re taking excellent care of your replacement teeth by appropriately brushing and soaking them as needed and avoiding bad oral habits. By doing so, you can ensure that in those several hours each day they’re being worn, they’re performing their duties perfectly!
About the Author
Dr. Gary Rosenfeld received his DDS from the Columbia University Dental School and has proudly served patients and families in the Medford, NY community for several years. His practice offers a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatment options, including both partial and full dentures for patients with varying needs. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to contact his team for additional information, feel free to reach out online or by phone: (631) 286-9000.