Our sense of taste is important for many reasons. Being able to enjoy the taste of food from your breakfast to dessert (not to mention drinks from your morning coffee to your nightcap), contributes to your quality of life. Even more important, when your sense of taste is affected, it can impact your nutrition, which becomes even more important as we age.
Numerous studies have concluded that as we age, we lose our sense of taste. The amount our taste diminishes depends partly on the type of taste under consideration. For some tastes, the difference may be as low as 2 or 3 times (especially for salt and sweet tastes), or up to 9 times for some types of flavor. This is part of the reason why elderly people tend to prefer higher levels of salt or sugar in their food than younger people. The loss of taste is accompanied by a loss of smell. Elderly people need 49 times higher concentration of scents to detect them than younger people.
The typical loss in taste associated with age can be worsened with dentures. The upper palate plays an important role in smell and taste, and a full upper denture will typically cover the palate, resulting in further diminished sense of taste. In addition, failing to properly clean dentures or using too much denture adhesive can further impact your taste.
When people can’t taste as well, they tend to lose interest in food beyond the basic requirement to eat for satisfying hunger. They also tend to add more salt to food in order to make it more appetizing with a decreased taste. One study found that people with diminished taste had the following nutritional risks:
As a result, a lack of taste can put seniors at an increased risk for chronic diseases.
There are many ways you can make sure your dentures aren’t interfering with your sense of taste so that you can continue to enjoy food and drink:
In this way, you can enjoy foods as you used to and promote your overall health.
To learn more about healthy living with dentures, please contact Dental Excellence of Blue Bell in Philadelphia today.
Dental Excellence of Blue Bell