Written by: Bobby Brown
New research has highlighted a concern that few people may have considered and that’s the challenges associated with having false teeth. Studies conducted at America’s Indiana University School of Dentistry has shed some interesting new light on the issue. The challenges themselves have been common knowledge for some time, like how differently bottom dentures affect nutrition, versus top dentures. Top dentures still allows the wearer to eat around 70% of the foods they use to eat, but they will struggle with things like mealies, ribs, or biting into an apple.
Bottom Dentures Could Cause Greater Malnutrition
People with bottom dentures only, have an even tougher adjustment to make when it comes to what they can and can’t eat. The norm is that they can manage only around 20-30% of what they are used to eating, due to the fact that the false teeth are usually unstable and wobble around a lot more. And this is where the malnutrition concern is at it’s most stark. The new research matched the dental records of more than 10,000 patients with medical laboratory data, specifically markers for malnutrition. They compared the lab results from two years before a patient received dentures to the two years after, with a specific focus on blood count, basic metabolic profile and lipid and thyroid panel function, among others.
Dentists Need To Be Aware
The results show that people with dentures have a significant decline in their nutrition markers, caused by the decline in chewing efficiency. The marker levels were still within normal range, but researchers say there is the potential that the levels will continue to fall over time. People with their own teeth did not experience the same decline. The lead researcher says dentists need to be aware of this and provide advice or a referral for nutrition counselling and possible continued monitoring.