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Fend Off Pneumonia by Taking Out Your Dentures at Night

Posted on 2/10/2017 by Dr. Hallas
A pair of complete dentures.
Did you know that poor oral health and hygiene could make you more susceptible to contracting certain illnesses?

This is especially true when it comes to the elderly, and recent research has determined that the way older adults wear their dentures could actually be a contributing factor.

The most recent study was conducted at Japan's Nihon University School of Dentistry. Researchers took a look at oral health behaviors and the incidence of pneumonia in a group of seniors aged 85 and older. Over 500 seniors were examined, and a variety of factors were noted, including oral health status, oral hygiene behaviors, medical assessment, and blood chemistry analysis.

Then researchers followed up each year until the first hospitalization for pneumonia. The results found that the denture wearers who wore their dentures at night were at a greater risk for developing pneumonia than people who took their dentures out at night.

Pneumonia wasn't the only problem noticed by nighttime denture wearers. This study also found that people who wore their dentures at night were more likely to be living with denture and tongue plaque, as well as gum inflammation.

This study provides important evidence that wearing dentures during sleep is associated with oral inflammation, microbial burden, and the development of pneumonia, and the takeaway is that improved oral health efforts may play a role in pneumonia prevention.

If you have an elderly loved one that wears dentures - or if you wear dentures yourself - you should be sure to encourage them to remove their dentures at night. Thoroughly cleaning the dentures can reduce bacteria, eliminate bad breath, and may ultimately prevent against pneumonia and other illnesses.

If you have questions about how to keep yourself healthy while wearing dentures, be sure to contact our office.

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