Can Anything Be Done to Prevent Nutrition Deficiency in Denture Wearers?
Did you know that denture wearers are at a higher risk of experience nutrient deficiencies?
According to a 2017 report, people who are fully edentulous (missing all of their teeth) are the most likely to be nutrient deficient.
What causes nutrition deficiency in denture wearers? What can patients do to prevent this from happening?
Nutrition Deficiency in Denture Wearers: Why It’s so Prevalent
When people lose their teeth, they often replace them with full or partial dentures. Most of the time, they do this because:
- It’s easier to chew with dentures than it is without teeth
- The dentures give the face a fuller, more youthful appearance.
These are great reasons for investing in dentures. Unfortunately, dentures aren’t quite as good at performing this task as natural teeth are.
This is especially true of foods that tend to be the most nutritious, namely fruits, nuts, and vegetables. These foods, in their raw form at least, tend to be hard, crunchy, or chewy.
Denture wearers usually have a hard time chewing these foods. Dentures just aren’t secure as natural teeth, which are anchored in the jawbone. Plus, ill-fitting dentures can cause sores, which make chewing even more difficult.
Why Nutrient Deficiency Is So Dangerous – Especially for Seniors
Digestion begins in the mouth, with the teeth and enzymes in the saliva breaking down food so it can be properly digested in the stomach and intestines. If the teeth can’t do their job, the result is often nutrient deficiency in denture wearers.
Getting the proper amount of essential nutrients on a daily basis is vital. As people age, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients anyway. Add difficulty chewing into the equation and it’s easy to see how quickly a person can become malnourished.
Without nutrients like the B-vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and the Omega-3 fatty acids, you end up:
- Losing muscle mass or strength
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling cold all the time
- With breathing difficulties
- Losing hair
- With anemia and fatigue
- With an increased risk for fractures
- Experiencing bone loss
- Being at higher risk for complications after surgery
- With a lowered immune response, resulting in more illness.
How to Improve Nutrient Levels If You Already Have Dentures
Should denture wearers lose hope? Absolutely not. Nutrition deficiency in denture wearers doesn’t have to be anyone’s destiny.
There are two important steps you can take right now to ensure that you get the nutrients your body needs.
1. Talk to Your Healthcare Provider about Nutritional Options
To avoid nutrient deficiency, everyone should talk to their doctor and/or a nutritionist about how to get the proper amount of vital nutrients.
If you are a denture wearer and are already experiencing a nutrient deficiency, your physician might recommend getting more nutrients in liquid form. There are liquid supplements you can take, or you can try adding some delicious fruit and vegetable smoothies or juices into your diet each day.
2. Talk to Your Denturist about Getting Implants
Denturists that offer dental implant procedures like Meri Paparisto in Greektown, Toronto can help!
Dental implants are anchored in the bone, which makes them incredibly strong. And that strength improves overall bite force and strength. That means you’ll be able to chew basically anything you want, including nutrient-dense foods.
Other benefits of implants include:
- They don’t have to be replaced every few years
- Maintaining them with home care is really simple.
What if you’re fully edentulous? You, too, can benefit from implants with implant-supported dentures. Between two and six implants are placed in the jawbone and the denture snaps over them. You never need to use denture paste to keep them in place. And again, you’ll be able to eat crunchy fruits and veggies.
Improve Your Health with the Help of Dental Professionals
Nutrient deficiencies can be extremely dangerous, no matter what a person’s age. While it’s important to get a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, you want to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals, too.
Thankfully, your dental team can help you do that with implants and implant supported dentures. With these services becoming more affordable and an increasing number of insurance companies covering at least a portion of the cost, more patients are able to take advantage of this form of treatment.
If you have some missing teeth or have existing dentures, talk to your denturist about your options. Doing so could have a profound impact on your overall health.
Are you a denture wearer? If so, contact us today to discuss the best solution that will protect you from nutrition deficiency and promote better overall health.