According to the American College of Prosthodontics, roughly 40 million adults are missing all of their teeth—this is quite a large figure! Not only that, but missing teeth is a pretty serious problem and can greatly affect your day-to-day life by inhibiting your ability to bite, chew, speak, and more. But luckily, dentures are an effective solution that can help you out. However, did you know that dentures can also negatively affect your body’s overall nutrition? Keep reading to learn more about this connection and what you can do to ensure that your dentures don’t give you any trouble when it’s dinnertime.
The Connection Between Dentures & Chewing Force
Dentures are held in place with a special, gum-colored adhesive; they rest on your gums and obtain their structural support through their shape and how they cover your jawbones. The better your dentures fit, the better they will function. The upper denture also uses suction to stay in place, while the lower denture relies on muscle control. When they’re in the proper positions, your dentures can effectively move and function just like your missing natural teeth.
However, since traditional dentures are removable and not naturally affixed to anything in your mouth, the adhesive can sometimes fail and your dentures can become loose when you speak, chew, or move your jaw. This means that you aren’t able to apply as much chewing force as normal; in fact, dentures only give you around 20% – 25% of your original bite force! Due to this reduction, you’re limited in your ability to bite, tear, and grind certain foods.
How Chewing Force Impacts Nutrition
Since chewing is technically the first step of the digestive process, you’re not off to a great start if you aren’t chewing your food thoroughly! Your saliva contains powerful enzymes that assist with digestion, and your teeth help to crush food into smaller particles that are easier for your stomach acids to break down. Swallowing larger particles isn’t just a choking hazard—your body can’t extract as much nutrition from larger particles. This can actually lead to malnutrition in some cases! That said, dentures can impact your nutrition through the reduction of your chewing force.
How Implant-Supported Dentures Can Help
Fortunately, implant-supported dentures can counteract this reduction and restore your chewing force. The implants assist your dentures by providing a strong, interlocking connection between your jaws and your dentures that adds significant foundational support. This means that your dentures don’t have to rely on suction, muscle control, or adhesives to remain stable and in their correct positions. That said, you’ll be back to fully chewing your food again in no time at all if you opt for implant-supported dentures.
Although they’re meant to help, dentures can unfortunately cause you harm by affecting your overall nutrition. But implant-supported dentures are a resolution to this and can upgrade your dentures and in turn, your chewing force.
About the Practice
Windermere Dentistry happily serves patients and families in the Windermere community. The practice is led by Dr. Matthew McKissock and Dr. Rupal Thakkar, who both have several years of experience and expertise in a wide variety of fields. Their practice is pleased to offer many services, including dentures. If you have any questions about dentures or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to contact the practice online or give them a call at (407) 909-1099.