Why removing dentures at night is important?

An estimated 37.9 million Americans wear dentures. While dentures help restore your smile and ability to eat, removing them at night is crucial for protecting your oral health. Dentures put consistent pressure on the gums which need time to relax and recover overnight.

Remove dentures at night to protect your oral health

Dentures rest on the gums and bone ridges in your mouth. Constant pressure can irritate the soft gum tissue, restrict proper blood flow, and increase the risk of inflammation or thrush infections. Taking dentures out for 6-8 hours overnight gives your gums a crucial break.

Without dentures, blood circulation to the gums increases significantly. Oxygen and nutrients can flow better to accelerate tissue healing and regeneration. The nightly denture-free period also allows saliva to better flush away plaque and bacteria buildup.

Overall, regularly removing dentures overnight provides the following key benefits:

  • Reduces gum irritation and inflammation
  • Prevents oral thrush infections
  • Optimizes blood flow and oxygenation
  • Flushes away plaque and bacteria for a cleaner mouth

“A nightly denture leave-out period minimizes traumatic ulcerations and allows optimum blood circulation to permit proper gum health and healing,” says Dr. Harold Katz, DDS and denture specialist.

So while it may seem easier to sleep with dentures in, the nightly oral recovery time is vital. Give your gums the break they need to stay healthy.

The Consequences of Keeping a Removable Denture at Night

The Consequences of Keeping a Removable Denture at Night

Sleeping with dentures continuously in your mouth is linked to significant oral health issues over time including:

  • Stomatitis: This inflammatory condition causes red, swollen gums that routinely bleed. It often stems from overwearing ill-fitting dentures, especially at night.
  • Oral thrush: When dentures restrict saliva from reaching gum tissue fully, a Candida albicans fungal infection can occur. The typical white mouth lesions are painful.
  • Bacterial infections: Acute sinusitis, respiratory infections, and dental cavities become more common without the cleansing removal period.
  • Oral cancer: Continual denture abrasion on gum ridges can produce lesions that may turn cancerous over time without rest periods.

Research shows wearing dentures for 24 hours also frequently disturbs sleep. The discomfort and awareness of a foreign object can become chronic insomnia triggers. Daytime fatigue often results.

Furthermore, oral tissue becomes oxygen-deprived without the Circadian rhythms of denture removal. Tissue irritation develops which impairs proper gum and bone ridge health.

Reasons Why Not to Sleep Wearing Dentures

To protect your mouth’s health and sleep quality, here are reasons you should remove dentures at bedtime:

Allow Tissues to Recover Fully

Oral tissue compression under dentures builds each hour worn. About 5-10% of denture patients develop denture stomatitis and ulcerations from constant pressure. An 8+ hour leave-out period gives an essential healing intermission.

Prevent Gum Ridges from Resorbing

Bone loss accelerates when gums cannot reoxygenate. As ridges resorb, dentures loose proper fit leading to chewing difficulty. Nightly removal helps minimize resorption.

Rest Salivary Glands

Saliva flow decreases under 24/7 denture pressure. Hyposalivation allows damaging bacteria films to grow. Giving glands a nightly rest restores protective saliva flow.

Maintain Proper Oral Flora

Harmful Candida yeast and bacteria proliferate if dentures are not properly cleaned. Removing overnight cuts microbial imbalance and inflammation risks.

“Allowing gums and oral tissue an 8-12 hour break from dentures prevents a host of health issues patients face,” explains Dr. Payal Kukreja, Prosthodontist.

So remember, while dentures restore eating capacity and self-confidence during the day, oral health hinges on removing them all night. Follow your dentist or prosthodontist recommendations for proper overnight soaking and cleaning too. Protect your gum health by allowing them the restorative night off.


Why is it important to soak dentures overnight?

Soaking dentures overnight removes food particles and bacteria so they stay clean and don’t cause bad breath or infection.

At what point should dentures be removed from a patient’s mouth?

Dentures should be removed at night while sleeping so gums can rest, massage the skin, and stay healthy.

What happens if you don’t soak your dentures overnight?

If dentures aren’t soaked, food and bacteria can build up and cause sore gums, bad breath, or mouth infections over time.

Is it best to remove dentures at night?

Yes, it’s best to remove dentures at night to give gums a rest from pressure and allow them to get air and moisture so they stay strong.


Wearing dentures helps many people eat, speak, and smile more easily. But it is important to take dentures out at bedtime every night. Leaving them in all night long can lead to big health problems over time. When you sleep with dentures in, your gums cannot rest. Dentures put pressure on your gums constantly. This can make the gums very sore, swollen, and infected. It also stops enough blood and oxygen from getting to your gums.

Your mouth stays more dirty and bacteria-filled as well. All these issues raise your chance of gum disease, thrush infections, and even mouth cancer. To protect your mouth by giving your gums a break for 6-8 hours while sleeping. Make sure to also properly clean your dentures by brushing and soaking them. If you care for your dentures and gums right, your mouth will stay healthier for chewing, talking, and smiling.

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