How Do Dentures Affect Nutrition?

April 20, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkoo @ 11:40 am
Senior couple enjoying nutritious meal together

Traditional dentures are one of the most common forms of tooth replacement. They can allow you to eat many foods, and they can provide you with a beautiful smile. Despite their usefulness, however, they have a number of drawbacks. For example, they could affect your ability to take in adequate nutrition. How exactly do dentures affect nutrition? What can you do to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs? Read on below to find out.

Nutrition Before and After Dentures 

A 2022 study conducted by the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry set out to learn how dentures can impact nutrition. The researchers analyzed data from 10,000 patients. They looked at a range of nutritional markers two years before patients got dentures, then again two years after the patients received dentures.

What did they find out? There was a significant decline in nutritional markers after the patients began using their prosthetic teeth. It is worth noting that most of the data points were still within normal range. However, it is reasonable to think that with the long-term use of dentures, the nutritional markers could continue to decline.

Why Do Dentures Affect Nutrition?

There are a couple of ways in which dentures can affect nutrition:

  • Reduction in chewing force. A complete traditional denture can reduce a person’s chewing force to 20 – 25% of what it was when they could use their natural teeth. Since denture patients cannot chew as thoroughly as they used to, they may tend to swallow larger chunks of food. This can hinder the body’s ability to efficiently extract nutrients from meals and snacks.
  • Dietary changes. Some foods are notoriously challenging to eat with dentures. For example, it might be something of a struggle to consume raw fruits and vegetables, as well as certain meats. Denture wearers might therefore be inclined to eat mostly soft foods, which can deprive them of nutrients that are commonly found in things that are more difficult to chew.

Is There a Solution?

The above information might seem a little disheartening, but there is no need to despair. There are steps you can take to improve your nutrition. For example, you could consider switching to implant dentures. Implant dentures are anchored in the jawbone via prosthetic tooth roots. That makes them much stronger than traditional dentures, so they can easily handle tough and chewy foods.

If you are not currently in a position to invest in implant dentures, you can still improve your nutrition. You might add nutrient-rich meal replacement shakes into your diet. You could also talk with your doctor about incorporating a few high-quality supplements into your daily routine.

Dentures are a useful tooth replacement option, but they are far from perfect. Anyone who wears them should be mindful about ensuring their body gets the nutrients it needs to function its best.

Meet the Practice

The three board-certified oral surgeons at Piney Point Dental Implant Center are proud to provide sturdy, reliable implant dentures for the Houston community. If you are frustrated with the limitations of your traditional denture, we would be happy to consult with you. Get in touch with us at 713-597-7340.

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