Are my dentures causing me to have bad breath (halitosis)?

If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.

If you’re concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. Bad breath can be caused by a number of sources, and he or she can help identify the cause and determine the best treatment. 

Dentures collect plaque and calculus (tartar) just like your natural teeth. They need to be cleaned daily to remove plaque and calculus. At home, dentures can be cleaned with over the counter cleaners and gentle bushing with a brush. When the plaque has hardened to calculus it will need to be removed by a dentist. Halitosis can also be caused by plaque on your tongue. Your tongue needs to be brushed daily also. If you have untreated cavities in your teeth, the bacteria in the cavities can cause your breath to smell. Acid reflux and sinus drainage can also cause halitosis.

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Absolutely! Dentures can be a big source of bad breath (halitosis). Halitosis is caused by many things. The biggest culprit is food that gets stuck between your teeth. So yes, that means that rotting food can even get stuck in your dentures. It's important to practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day. So it's so important to clean your dentures. 

And here's a test to see if those dentures are the problem. Take your dentures out and put them in a plastic bag. After a few minutes, take a whiff.....smell bad? There's your problem!
Tom Berry
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dentures are made of acrylic (plastic) and tend to absorb most mouth odors. Any foods or drinks consumed can contribute to an objectionable smell of your dentures. It is advisable to remove your dentures in the evening and brush them as you would your own teeth and place them in a denture cleanser. This will help remove some of the odors the denture may have absorbed during the day.

Improper care of dentures can cause bad breath (halitosis). Make sure that you clean your dentures properly. Food trapped between partial or full dentures can cause a foul odor. Your dentist can make sure that your dentures are fitted properly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.