If you're partially edentulous and wear removable dentures that irritate your mouth or interfere with your nutrition, speak to a dentist about dental implants. Edentulism, or the loss of teeth, can cause numerous problems with your oral health, including poor nutrition. Your dentures may also cause changes in your mouth, such as mouth sores, that affect how well you eat. You can overcome the obstacles previously mentioned with dental implants. Here's how edentulism and dentures affect your nutrition and what you can do to overcome it.
How Do Edentulism and Dentures Affect Your Nutrition?
Even if you wear your dentures when you eat, they may not be enough to prevent the problems caused by tooth loss, including poor nutrition, poor saliva production and mouth sores. According to PubMed, edentulous individuals often select foods with soft textures, even if they wear dentures. The dentures may cause some type of pain or problem, such as canker sores, that makes chewing solid or hard foods difficult. However, soft foods may require you to chew less or not at all, which creates problems with your saliva.
Chewing stimulates your saliva glands to activate and produce enough fluids to help you swallow your food without harming your throat tissues. Saliva also breaks food down into tiny pieces so that your intestines can digest and utilize them easier. In addition, saliva moisturizes your mouth, which helps it control oral bacteria. Without enough moisture in your mouth, bacteria may grow out of control and cause bad breath, dry mouth or gum disease.
Your nutrition may suffer because the soft foods you eat may not contain enough nutrients to keep you physically and mentally strong. You may also limit your diet to just a few food choices instead of a variety of items. If you have other health conditions that require good nutrition, such as heart disease and diabetes, you may inadvertently make them worse.
To avoid the issues mentioned above, it's important that you find a better solution for your edentulism.
What Can You Do to Overcome Your Edentulism?
One of the steps you can take is to ask a dentist about dental implant surgery. Dental implants are permanent solutions to edentulism that not only improve your oral health, they help you eat better. The implants look and feel like real teeth roots and feature tooth-colored crowns that allow you to cut, chew and break down food.
Dental implants come in two types of materials: titanium and ceramic. Titanium is a silver-colored metal that bonds well with the bones of your jaws and is the most commonly used implant today. Ceramic implants are fairly new in dentistry and come from a white, metal-free material called zirconia. This option may be right for you if you're allergic to metal or if you don't like the idea of placing metal in your tooth sockets. If you're unsure if you have allergies to metal, it's a good idea that you ask a dentist to perform an allergy test prior to your surgery.
The placement of titanium and ceramic implants occurs in a dental office or clinic. The procedure generally requires the use of a dental anesthetic that numbs the gum tissue surrounding the surgical sites. If you need additional pain relief or feel uncomfortable about undergoing surgery, you may request that a dentist use general anesthesia during your implant procedure. But this is something you must discuss with a dentist before they schedule surgery.
A dentist places the crowns over your implant posts after they heal, which can vary from person to person. A provider will most likely go over what you can expect before, during and after your treatment during your initial consultation.
If you want to know more about dental implants and how to improve your nutrition, contact a dental provider today at a clinic like Gordon Dental.