Falling asleep while wearing your dentures may be more dangerous than you’d think.
According to a recent study published by the International and American Associations for Dental Research in the OnlineFirst portion of the Journal of Dental Research, elderly people who wear dentures while they sleep have a higher risk of catching pneumonia compared to those who remove them before bed.
In the medical world, it is commonly accepted that poor dental hygiene can be linked to pneumonia in elderly people. Lead researcher Toshimitsu Iinuma, and his research team from Nihon University School of Dentistry in Japan, observed a community of 85 and older seniors to investigate the association between an array of different oral health behaviors and their correlation to pneumonia.
The study observed 524 randomly selected seniors with an average age of 87.8. They were examined for based on their oral health behaviors, current oral health status, and other standard medical assessments until they were hospitalized or killed from pneumonia.
Over a three-year period, there were 48 events associated with pneumonia (20 deaths and 28 hospitalizations). The data showed that among the 453 denture wearers, the 40% that wore their dentures while they slept at night had a greater risk of catching pneumonia than those who removed them.
This study shows that it is important for denture wearers to maintain a healthy oral regiment and to remove their dentures each night. Feel free to call our Signature Smile office in Brooklyn Heights if you have any questions!