Are dentures easy to clean

Cleaning dentures: this is what you should pay attention to

Put the prosthesis in a glass of water, add a tablet: Are the third parties already clean? It is not that easy. The dentures also have to be cleaned meticulously. Otherwise various problems threaten.

Dentures are like real teeth: if you don't clean them well, you run into problems. So with prostheses, too, cleaning is the order of the day. But how?

The brush grip is right, but normal toothpaste should be avoided. "It may contain abrasives," explains Kai Fortelka from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists. They could roughen the plastic on the surface of the prosthesis. "Cleaning under the tap is therefore sufficient."

There are also disinfecting detergents in powder and tablet form. "However, they cannot replace daily cleaning with a brush."

Remove adhesive cream residues

Adhesive creams should also only be a stopgap solution. Basically, it is always better to strive for a hold without aids, the expert recommends. If such creams are nevertheless used, their residues on the prosthesis must be removed every day.

A normal brush from the drugstore is sufficient for daily cleaning of the outside and inside surfaces. Denture toothbrushes make it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas because of their shape and bristles. This can particularly help the elderly and patients with limited mobility.

Another tip: If you clean the prosthesis in the sink, you should fill the basin with water or put a towel in it, if possible. "This cushions the impact of the prosthesis should it slip out of your hand," explains Fortelka. If the denture is damaged, the dentist has to go and repair it - otherwise there is a risk of problems with the oral mucosa and the alveolar ridge.

Evidence as a problem for the remaining teeth

Plaque is not only a problem for natural teeth. It forms wherever leftover food has not been removed - including on prostheses. Such deposits can then settle microorganisms that cause tooth decay and periodontitis in the remaining teeth in the mouth, as Fortelka explains.

In turn, tartar can stick to the connecting elements and contact surfaces of the prostheses. Even the slightest deposits were noticeable here, emphasizes the expert, because the dentures are made to fit the carrier or abutment tooth to a fraction of a millimeter. The prosthesis then loses its hold.

Pneumonia from dirty prostheses?

Contaminated prostheses are also suspected of promoting pneumonia. "Because both the teeth and the lungs are part of the airways," explains pulmonologist Prof. Dieter Köhler. "If we breathe through the mouth, the air gets past the teeth."

Usually the airways are so well protected that no saliva or chunks of food get into the lungs. "If we swallow, the trachea is closed by the glottis. Unfortunately, saliva, drinking liquid or even food components slip through and get into the trachea or the deeper lungs," explains the former medical director of the Grafschaft monastery lung clinic in Schmallenberg (NRW).

The vernacular calls this "swallowing", medicine calls it "aspirating". According to Köhler, that doesn't really matter, because even the numerous normal germs in the mouth area are killed by the defenses in the lungs. However, a poorly cleaned prosthesis can lead to inflammation in the mouth area. If swallowed with saliva, these bacteria could very well cause pneumonia.

"With older people in particular, one always finds a certain relationship between poor oral care - which includes the prosthesis - and increased pneumonia," says Köhler. "However, it should not be forgotten that poor dental and prosthesis care is more common in people who are otherwise negligent or who can no longer clean adequately due to previous illnesses."

It is therefore not certain whether poor prosthesis care itself leads to pneumonia, said Köhler. "There is evidence that general health awareness and state of health are the most important factors."

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.