Can Dentures Affect My Overall Nutrition?
May 4, 2022
Everybody loves to eat! Food fuels us and makes us happy, and for those with missing teeth, dentures can help you eat once more with much less difficulty. But is it really that simple? Recent research has shown that dentures might actually have a negative impact on your body’s overall nutrition! Keep reading to learn more about how your dentures could potentially inhibit your body’s nourishment, and how attaching your dentures to dental implants might be the solution you need.
How Dentures Impact Your Bite and Chewing Force
Your dentures are held in place by an acrylic gum-colored material; they rest on the gums and obtain their functional support through their shape and how they cover the jawbones. This is how they’re able to effectively look and function like your natural teeth; the upper denture uses suction to stay in place, while the lower requires muscle control.
Traditional dentures are completely removable and don’t naturally affix themselves to anything in your mouth, so they can easily become loose when you eat or speak and sometimes fall out—especially without the adhesive. Because of this, dentures actually limit the amount of chewing force your mouth can apply! While natural teeth can effectively grind and tear the things you bite into, dentures cannot.
Therefore, foods like chewy meats become off limits for those with dentures, as the prosthetic teeth are unable to effectively rip and tear the meat fibers. Things like breads, potatoes, and other starchy foods can also be very difficult to eat, as they can easily dislodge your dentures from their optimal position.
How Chewing Force Impacts Nutrition
Chewing is actually the first step of the digestive process; the physical force of crushing the food into smaller pieces, combined with the powerful enzymes found in your saliva, helps your stomach to break everything down.
Studies show that chewing your food for a shorter period and swallowing larger particles impairs your body’s ability to absorb nutrients; not to mention, it’s a choking hazard! It can also lead to many other health problems including mild to moderate malnutrition.
Implant-Supported Dentures Can Help
If you’re familiar with dental implants, you probably know what they’re capable of. They can completely restore a smile to healthy, pristine conditions—but did you know that they can also support your dentures?
Dental implants can provide an interlocking connection between your dentures and your jawbone, which yields several advantages; not only does it hold your dentures in position over the jawbones, but it also helps to support and restore chewing force!
Implants help your dentures the exact same way they’d help natural teeth—and this support to your chewing force will directly translate into nutritional benefits, as you’ll be able to effectively bite and chew once again.
Even though dentures are meant to help your smile, they can actually harm you by inhibiting your ability to eat! Ask your dentist if implant-supported dentures are a viable solution for you so you can get back to eating your favorite foods again.
About the Author
Dr. Eric J. Marsh is proud to serve the dental needs of patients and families in the Allentown area alongside his wife, Dr. Michele A. Pisano-Marsh. They each have almost 30 years of experience and expertise in a wide variety of fields and would be happy to help you achieve your smile goals. Their practice offers many different services including both dentures and dental implants! If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can do so online or by phone: (610) 432-8037.
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