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Dentistry/Question About My Father's Partial Dentures


Hello Dr.Shumantov,

Since August 2014, my father has been using a partial denture for his upper jaw and he is happy with it so far. His dentist had advised him to sleep at night with his partial denture and he has been doing so since Aug 2014.

My father told me about a medical news article (link below) whose title is, "Denture Wearing During Sleep Doubles the Risk of Pneumonia in Very Elderly".My father will be seeing his dentist this week as he feels an occasional heat sensation in some of his natural teeth in his lower jaw when he drinks something hot.

Quick Background about my father:
My father is 77 years old, 5 ft 3 inches in height and weighs 125 lbs with a waist size of 36.1 inches inches and lives alone in Goa, India. He walks about an hour in the morning and about 45 minutes in the evening and uses the exercise bike for about 15-30 minutes after his morning walk. His diet is brown rice, wheat bread, fruits, nuts and vegetables

News Article Link:

His new dentist from Aug 2014 is as below:

If you don't mind, I have two questions:

a) Would you recommend my father discontinue wearing his denture while he sleeps?

b) Is the occasional heat sensation in part of his natural teeth in his lower jaw an indication of a serious condition now or a potential one for the future?

Thank you!!

Dear Zent,

Thank you for the informative question. I am not surprised that elderly people who sleep with dentures are at higher risk of pneumonia. Along with the main bug that grows under dentures  - Candida - the porosity and plaque-retentive properties of the acrylic facilitate growth of other types of bacteria including Streptococcus Pneumoniae. There is a research from 11 years back that demonstrated the correlation:

Therefore, I do recommend your father to discontinue using the denture at night, and to clean it daily.

The heat sensation in the lower teeth you described as provoked when drinking hot liquids. This is normal even when no pathology is present. Teeth can be more sensitive when root structure is exposed, which is possible in your father's case. This doesn't exclude the chance for having pathology such as root caries, which your dad's dentist can pick up easily after a cleaning and exam.

Best regards,



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Veselin Shumantov DDS


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