We’ve talked for a long time about the potential for dentures to impact your overall health. One of the biggest concerns is that when you have dentures, you might not be able to eat a full range of foods that give you the nutrition you need to stay healthy.
Now a new study looking at nutrition markers in the blood of denture wearers shows solid evidence of how dentures impact nutrition. It also gives us a good idea of how to help people get good nutrition with dentures.
Finding Nutritional Data about Denture Wearers
For this study, researchers looked at patients who received dentures from Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) clinics from 2010 to 2018. This included people with full and partial dentures, either above, below, or both. It did not include people who received only implant dentures. Researchers figured out which denture recipients had visited a health clinic and given blood within two years after getting dentures. This amounted to a total of 3519 denture recipients with blood data from within two years of getting dentures.
Then researchers matched each denture recipient with two controls of the same gender and roughly the same age. All controls had a blood test within one year (either before or after) the date their matched case received dentures.
How Dentures Impacted Nutrition
Not all aspects of blood differed significantly between the cases and controls. Researchers found that:
- Serum albumin
- Serum calcium
Were all reduced in people with dentures. In addition, the controls saw their hemoglobin index increase.
These changes indicate that people with dentures likely had decreased access to protein, calcium, and iron. This is not entirely unexpected. The main protein source for most Americans is meat. If dentures don’t let wearers eat steak or other challenging meats, they will likely experience a drop in protein intake. The drop in calcium is also easy to explain. Most of our calcium comes from dairy products such as cheese and milk. However, leafy greens represent a significant secondary source of calcium. Kale, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage all contribute to people’s calcium intake, and these can all be hard to eat with dentures. Finally, iron mostly comes from meat but also from spinach and other leafy greens. Nuts are another good source of iron, and denture wearers often avoid nuts.
How to Get Good Nutrition with Dentures
If you recently got dentures and are trying to make sure you maintain a healthy intake of nutrition, we offer three main strategies:
- Find alternate food sources
- Get dentures that let you eat a wide range of foods
Using one of these strategies or a combination of all three can help ensure you get the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy with dentures.
Supplements for Nutrition
Supplements are a less desirable way to get your daily nutrition. However, if you can’t manage other approaches, supplements are a good choice. Multivitamins are a good source of most of the nutrition your body needs. This includes not only the nutrients that we know diminish because of dentures but also a full range of nutrients to help replace other nutrients you might not be getting.
Alternative Food Sources of Nutrition
Another potential approach to help you stay healthy is to find alternative nutrition sources other than the ones you used to enjoy. Meat is a great source of protein, but there are other protein sources as well, such as cheese, beans, legumes, nuts, and more.
With vegetarian sources, you have to be careful you’re getting complete proteins. However, this isn’t always hard. For example, peanut butter and wheat bread give you complete protein. Admittedly, peanut butter is not a favorite food of denture wearers since it can stick to dentures and cause problems. However, this is just one example, and it’s a good idea to find multiple sources so you can have a varied diet that is also nutritious.
Get Dentures That Let You Enjoy Many Foods
Of course, the best way to make sure your nutrition isn’t suffering is to get quality dentures that let you eat a wide variety of foods. Implant dentures, for example, restore your biting and chewing ability. It will be almost as good as with your natural teeth. Implant dentures work so well that researchers excluded them from this study.
Another option is FOY ® Dentures. Many people with FOY ® Dentures find they don’t have to modify their diet. They can eat steak, for example, as well as challenging foods like whole apples and corn on the cob.
Contact a Local FOY ® Dentures Dentist
Are you concerned about the impact dentures might have on your health? Do you want dentures that let you eat a full diet of nutritious foods? Please contact a local FOY ® Dentures dentist today to learn what sets these dentures apart from traditional dentures.