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Eating Well with Dentures: Can They Affect Your Nutrition?

March 15, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — soldotnadentalarts @ 4:12 pm
Patient with dentures eating

If you’re a denture-wearer, you know how important they are to restoring your ability to have good food. Without them, you may have had to give up some favorite foods because they were too hard to chew. Now, you can eat with relative ease, with a few limitations. But how restrictive are dentures, really? Can they affect your nutrition in a big way? Continue reading to learn the relationship between your dentures and your nutritional choices.

Restoration of Bite Force

One of the primary functions of teeth is to chew food effectively. This is the first step of digestion, breaking food down into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow. With missing teeth, chewing becomes more challenging, affecting your ability to enjoy certain foods, especially those that are tough or crunchy.

Dentures are designed to restore much of your chewing function, allowing you to eat a greater variety of foods with diverse nutritional benefits. However, they have limits on what they’re capable of. While they allow you to grind food once it’s reached the back of your mouth, they don’t do well when trying to grip or tear.

Food Choice and Dentures

Because certain foods are harder to eat with dentures, many patients remove them from their diets in frustration. This can cause a lack of diversity in their diets and cause malnutrition. In fact, a study performed by Dr. Thankam Thyvalikakath at the Regenstrief and IU School of Dentistry showed concerning results. He studied over 10,000 patients and found that those who wore dentures had a significant drop in nutrition.

Denture Limitations and Malnutrition

Another way patients may begin to feel the effects of malnutrition is a lack of food processing overall. Dentures are harder to chew with, so many patients tend to simply chew less while wearing them. This allows larger, less processed chunks of food to enter the digestive tract.

Once there, because it’s not broken down properly, your body can’t extract all the nutrients it needs from it. It may also cause stomach issues as bigger pieces of food take longer to digest.

So, do dentures affect nutrition? Absolutely. However, the difference between having dentures to process your food and not is vast. With some adjustments like cutting up tougher foods and eating slower, you can still enjoy good food with your prosthetics. If you need more guidance, reach out to your dentist. They can recommend personalized food choices and guidelines to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

About the Author

Dr. Mike Christensen has been restoring smiles and helping his patients lead happier, healthier lives for many years. He received his dental education from the prestigious University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. There he underwent an intense accelerated program covering all aspects of dentistry. Today, he continues to challenge himself through continuing education to serve his patients better. Call (907) 420-3938 to schedule a consultation at Soldotna Dental Arts or visit the website to view a full menu of services they offer.

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