5 Ways to Fight Denture Odors and Bad Breath

For many dental patients with missing teeth, dentures are an excellent option to restore your smile. They are a natural-looking solution that provides durability and functionality. However, tartar, plaque and food particles may start to build up on your dentures over time. Odorous bacteria can grow in the cracks and pores of the denture surfaces, which can be the root cause of bad breath.

To avoid bad breath with dentures and help you feel confident about your smile, here are some simple tips to ensure your dentures are clean and odor-free.

Dentist holding dentures

1. Improve Your Denture Cleaning Routine

Cleaning your dentures the right way is essential to remove the bacteria that can cause bad breath. Although it’s easy to fall into a routine of skipping steps when it comes to denture care, it’s time to get back on track to fight those bad odors. Make sure you:

  • Remove and rinse dentures after eating. After eating, a quick rinse under running water can make a big difference in removing the food particles that lead to bacteria growth.
  • Clean your mouth when you remove your dentures. After removing your dentures, take the opportunity to flush out odor-causing bacteria and food debris in your mouth.
  • Brush your dentures every day. Using a soft-bristled brush and a non-abrasive denture cleaner, gently brush your dentures to remove food, plaque and any denture adhesive within the denture grooves. According to Mayo Clinic1, this should be done at least once a day.
  • Soak your dentures overnight. It’s important to keep your dentures moist while they’re out of your mouth. You should place your dentures in water or a special denture-cleaning solution while you sleep. Just be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations and the cleaning solution instructions.
  • Always handle your dentures with care. Avoid bending or applying too much pressure to your dentures, as this may cause tiny cracks or chips where bacteria can grow.

dentures soaking in cleaning solution

2. Consider Using an Ultrasonic Cleaning Kit for Dentures

If you’re still finding it challenging to fight denture odors, you may want to consider using an ultrasonic cleaning kit. Using controlled sound waves to create vibrations in a cleaning solution, an ultrasonic denture cleaner can remove bacteria you may have missed while brushing.  You simply submerge your dentures in the solution and run the machine for a few minutes, according to the manufacturer’s directions.

These cleaning units are generally small and inexpensive, so they may be a helpful solution to your bad breath problem. However, always consult with your dentist before using an ultrasonic denture cleaner. They may have recommendations on which one to purchase and tips on how to use it best.

3. Avoid Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is another common cause of bad breath for both denture users and non-denture users. According to the American Dental Association (ADA)2, a lack of saliva in the mouth can be a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath. Keeping your mouth moist can help combat the odor-causing germs that thrive in that environment. Some things you can do include:

  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated is essential for salivary production, which can help flush away food and bacteria.
  • Check your medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of some prescription drugs. If this is the case, talk to your doctor about different medications that may be available.
  • Skip mouthwashes that contain alcohol. The high alcohol concentration found in some mouthwashes can dry out the mouth.
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. You may struggle with dry mouth if you frequently drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Excessive amounts can lead to dehydration.

To learn more about dry mouth and dentures and how it can affect your dental health, contact Absolute Dental to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dental professionals.

4. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

As mentioned earlier, it’s vital that you keep your mouth clean in order to fight bad breath. When you remove your dentures before bed and before inserting them in the morning, use a soft toothbrush or gauze to clean your gums, tongue and cheeks, as recommended by the ADA3. Not only does this help to remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to bad breath, but it will also stimulate circulation to the tissues in your mouth.

5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Of course, there are the usual culprits that could be behind your bad denture breath, including:

  • Gum disease or periodontal disease
  • Long-term neglect of your teeth and gums
  • Other oral health issues, like cavities or an infection
  • Underlying health problems

By visiting your dentist every six months, they can catch these issues early and help you correct the problems. They will also check that your dentures fit correctly, preventing bacteria from building up between the dentures and your gums. If you’re still dealing with bad breath after trying these tips, our dentists can help. Contact the Absolute Dental team today to schedule an appointment!

Dentist showing dentures to patient

RELATED: 6 Ways Dentist Visits Help With Bad Breath


¹Salinas, Thomas J. (16 November 2017). Denture care: How do I clean dentures?. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 8 October 2021 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/denture-care/expert-answers/faq-20058375

²American Dental Association (ADA). Bad Breath: 6 Causes (and 6 Solutions). Mouth Healthy. Retrieved 8 October 2021 from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath

³American Dental Association (ADA). Dentures. Mouth Healthy. Retrieved 8 October 2021 from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures

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