Dentures, both partial and full, give wearers back the ability to eat, chew, smile and speak more clearly. In many ways, they resemble your natural teeth. So much so that friends and family members may not even be aware that you have a denture in the first place. However, despite the obvious benefits to wearing dentures, there are certain things that you shouldn't do whilst wearing them, for example, sleep.

Wearing Dentures at Night Speeds Up Bone Resorption

The loss of a tooth leads to a natural process called "resorption" whereby the bone responsible for holding the root of the missing tooth in place is broken down and absorbed by the body.

For this reason, some patients opt to wear dentures short term until they can afford to invest in dental implants at a later date. Dental implants stimulate jawbone growth. However, when you wear your dentures overnight, the constant pressure they exert against your gums accelerates the resorption of your jawbone.

Not only does this lead to your dentures not fitting properly, but a reduction in jawbone will inevitably change the shape of your face.

Sleeping in Dentures Leads to Stomatitis

Taking your dentures out at night allows your body's natural defence of saliva and the enzymes it contains to care for your gums. Saliva's antibacterial properties ensure that your gums remain infection-free. However, if you wear your dentures overnight, you negate this natural defence and leave your mouth at the mercy of the millions of microorganisms that call your mouth home.

A common condition is known as stomatits. This condition begins because yeast microorganisms accumulate on the roof of your mouth, under the dental plate, and sometimes affect the corners of your mouth, leading to an uncomfortable rash and cracked lips.

Dental Plaque Can Wreak Havoc in Your Mouth

Sleeping in your dentures also leads to tongue plaque. This is characterized by a white coating on the surface of your tongue. This signifies that the bacteria in your mouth have colonized your tongue. While dental plaque can be removed easily with a toothbrush, it can contribute to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath if left to its own devices.

Dental plaque may also harm your dentures, the acid content contained within the plaque slowly eating away at the material holding the dentures together, until they fall apart.

You Don't Need Dentures at Night

While your dentures may renew your confidence and allow you to eat your favourite foods during the day, they don't benefit you in any way at night. Therefore, you should get used to taking them out at night. If you plan on replacing your dentures with dental implants, then removing your dentures at night is especially applicable to you. The more jawbone available, the easier it will be for your dentist to install the implants.

Although your dentist will recommend that you sleep in your dentures for the first night or two, this is only to allow your gums to heal after any recent extractions. Enjoy the benefits of your dentures by day, and care for your gums by night. If you find a good balance, your gums and jawbone will be in good shape should you decide to explore the possibility of utilizing dental implants down the road.