Your mouth is the first step in maintaining a healthy digestive system, and missing teeth or poor hygiene can affect the overall health of your body. Many older adults opt for dentures, which are less expensive than reconstructive dental surgery. While there are many benefits to having dentures, new information has just been released about the dangers of dentures and pneumonia.
Results from a new study show that elderly patients who sleep in their dentures are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing pneumonia.
The Journal of Dental News organized a three year study analyzing the effects of older patients wearing their dentures overnight. The study screened the oral hygiene of over 500 adults over the age of 85 including their prior medical issues as well.
Out of the 500 participants, 186 people did not remove their dentures before going to sleep. Over the course of the study, there were 48 deaths and hospitalizations due to pneumonia caused by the patients sleeping with their dentures overnight. The researchers concluded that people who sleep in their dentures are 2.3 times more likely to develop pneumonia than those who take them out before bed.
After performing this three-year study, researchers are now encouraging physicians to be more proactive when informing their patients about not sleeping with dentures. If you do wear dentures, be proactive about your health by making sure to clean them regularly and taking them out when you sleep. Schedule an appointment with your physician if you are experiencing any signs of inflammation, denture plaque, or any other oral issues.
Nutrition expert Robin Amylon provided us with some great tips for maintaining those pearly whites, including a healthy diet and regular self-cleanings of your dentures.