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Eating Without Teeth or Dentures – What You Need to Know

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Eating Without Teeth or Dentures – What You Need to Know

If you have lost some of your teeth and you are having trouble fixing dentures, it can be difficult yet annoying eating without them. While some slowly get used to eating without teeth or dentures it can be dangerous to the mouth and the body. Before you move forward with eating food without teeth or dentures consider the following risk factors.

Gum and Jaw Problems

When chewing food without teeth or dentures, the pressure intended to be taken in by the teeth or dentures is exerted on your gums and jaws. The natural tooth bite force normally lies at about 200-250 pounds while that of a denture lies at 50 pounds. The dentures are less powerful than natural teeth but in this case, you would rather have something than nothing.

Keeping up with this habit renders your gums sore while your mouth becomes tired of having to put up with the unnecessary pressure when chewing hard food. Even soft foods that don’t seem to require a lot of chewing strain the mouth and gums. Additionally, this exposes the gum tissues to more serious issues such as infected gums and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction).

The jawbone is also exposed to hefty pressure placed on it due to lack of teeth or dentures. It continually weakens the jawbone over time making it prone to fractures. Also using your gums to grind on food causes the tissues to start wearing off exposing the jawline. This normally results into bone loss. Moreover, severe bone loss might prevent one from having tooth replacement options such as dental implants due to the instability of the jaw bone structure. While some believe that it is safe to take soft foods such as smoothies, yoghurt, soups when one has no teeth, this shouldn’t be a long-term habit. Well at least until the sites where natural teeth were extracted heal. Remember eating soft foods without teeth or dentures exposes your gums and body to infection.

Gastro-Intestinal Problems

Digestion is a complex process that goes through a huge deal of processing. The process starts at the mouth where food is crushed with the teeth into tiny digestible pieces. Throwing a whole wrench into the system without properly crushing it eventually leads to problems in the digestive tract. When food gets to the stomach in huge pieces that cannot be properly broken down further, incomplete digestion occurs. The system fails to absorb nutrients properly, the food stays longer in the system especially in the colon where it creates a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. It leads to bacterial growth, partial indigestion, and flatulence.

If you are at a period where the tooth extraction site is healing just before having dentures fixed, it is advisable that you consume foods that have already been processed and won’t require actual chewing. The digestive system does not have the capacity to absorb nutrients through chewing. In taking in food that has already been processed the system will have easy time absorbing nutrients. 

Risk of Losing Other Teeth

When one continues to chew without teeth or dentures, the jaw bone gradually becomes weaker. This makes the base on which the remaining teeth are supported. It affects the functionality of other teeth making them weaker and over time, the teeth will start falling off one after the other.

Lack of Adequate Saliva Production

Saliva is an essential enzyme used in the digestive process. It helps lubricate crushed food to help in easy swallowing down to the stomach. Saliva also contains an enzyme commonly known as amylase that digests starch in the mouth. The salivary glands that are known for producing saliva get stimulated into producing more saliva by proper chewing of food. This is limited by the absence of teeth.

What Can One Do?

You can discuss viable options with your dentist after he or she examines the condition of your gums and jawbones. A permanent solution includes dental implants that can easily be fixed by an experienced dentist. It involves drilling in some titanium cylinder into the empty space that acts like the tooth root. A crown that resembles a real enamel is then fixed above the gum line. Dentures, on the other hand, are non-surgical replacements that resemble the real tooth and act like natural teeth.

Whatever you campaign for: either dental implants or dentures, be sure to keep them clean on a daily basis. Just like natural teeth, dentures are prone to tartar buildup and bacteria and also stains. Also check in with your dentist regularly to have a follow up on how your gums and bones are progressing. Patients who previously had gum and bone loss may recover and pass tests to have dental implants. Your dentist will also guide you on better ways to take care of your dentures or implants.

Check in with our dental experts for consultation and tooth replacement options at Vita Dental Spring clinic. We have something for everyone.

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