Can Wearing Dentures Lead To Poor Nutrition?

Can Wearing Dentures Lead To Poor Nutrition? While dentures are an effective way of replacing multiple teeth for elderly patients, they represent a major change for most individuals.  One oft overlooked consideration is their effect on a patient’s nutrition.  Read on to learn about the ways researchers believe dentures affect a patient’s overall health, and what can be done to improve the situation.

 

The Worldwide Need For Dentures

 Nearly one in five adults around the world wear some form of denture1.  They are most commonly needed in patients above the age of sixty five who have lost several teeth.  However, they are also commonly worn by patients of all ages who have experienced varying levels of tooth loss or decay.  There are both partial and full dentures, always custom designed to fit the patient’s mouth.  And while dentures are a widely accepted treatment, they do occasionally come with negative side effects.

 

How Losing Teeth Affects Patients

 Lost teeth can have a particularly harmful effect on a patient’s mental health and self esteem.  It is very common for individuals to begin hiding their faces, smiling less, and potentially even withdrawing from their social lives.  Dentures provide a tremendous amount of relief, but they do have a few drawbacks.  Most of them could best be categorized as minor inconveniences.  Issues such as maintenance and slight discomfort can be easily overcome.  However, according to a recent study, dentures may be at the root of a much more serious issue.

 

Dentures’ Negative Impact On Nutrition

 A formal study conducted by Thankam Thyvalikakath surveyed over 10,000 patients, some of whom were denture wearers and some who were not.  The experiment suggested that there is a strong correlation between denture wearers and poor nutrition2.

The study suggests that wearing dentures creates many changes in a patient’s daily habits.  Dentures are not as efficient for chewing.  This means that foods are less likely to be broken down and properly digested.  Additionally, patients may alter their eating habits, avoiding things like crisp vegetables that may require more chewing.  It is also worth noting that many of these individuals are elderly, meaning they may be more susceptible to poor eating habits already.

 

Conclusion

 While dentures can be hugely beneficial in many ways, their effect on a patient’s nutrition should not be ignored.  Dental practitioners should be diligent in explaining these risks so that individuals can take action to continue getting the nutrition they need.

References: 

  1. Loat, S. (2019, July 18). Facts & Tips: Dentures. Oral Health Foundation. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/facts-tips-dentures

 

  1. 2. ScienceDaily. (2022, April 21). Wearing dentures may affect a person’s nutrition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220421100149.htm

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