One of the concerns for older denture wearers is whether they are able to eat a wide enough variety of foods to ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need to maintain their general health. In the past, caregivers and social support people have used the number of teeth that a person has as an estimate of their ability to eat a variety of foods.
Now a new study from Japan tells us that this is a bad way to estimate a person’s ability to eat nutritious food. More important than the number of teeth is actually the bite force that a person is able to exert.
In this Japanese study of nutrition among the elderly, 757 people aged 69-71 living on their own (not under professional or family care) were considered. Bite force was measured using pressure-sensitive sheets. People who wore removable dentures were asked to keep them in place during the measurement. Then they were surveyed about their dietary habits with a brief questionnaire about the kinds of foods they ate and those they avoided. The results were adjusted for gender and socioeconomic level.
It was found that it didn’t really matter how many teeth a person had. Instead, intake of vegetables and most nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and dietary fiber all depended on the bite force a person was able to muster. By comparison, only calcium and zinc were associated with number of teeth.
This research confirms some findings we’ve talked about before, that dental implants don’t necessarily improve nutrition of well-fitting dentures.
To learn more about what makes The Denture Fountain of Youth® different from other dentures, please call 610-272-0828 for an appointment with Philadelphia denture dentist Dr. Kenneth Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.
Dental Excellence of Blue Bell