We talk a lot about tooth loss these days. Consumers are presented with tips and tricks for preventing tooth loss as they age because we have come to realize that age is not a factor in tooth loss at all. If one or more teeth become diseased beyond repair or is injured, we talk about the most appropriate way to restore full function. Because dentures are more immediately affordable for many people, this method of tooth replacement remains popular. But it isn’t without specific hazards.
One of the common habits that occur with denture wearers at some point is eating without these new teeth. Dentures that are removable are far too easy to remove. Doing so, though, can lead to more problems than you might imagine. If you are a denture-wearer who routinely eats without your appliances, we encourage you to change your habits so you can avoid unnecessary issues.
The Jaw and Gums
We are not meant to chew with our gums. When we do, the jaw works harder to apply enough force to break food into small particles. With natural teeth, the force of pressure equates to over 200 pounds. The bite force with dentures is only a fraction of that. With no teeth at all, there is very little bite force to speak of, and the jaw must pick up the slack. The increased pressure placed onto gums can create sores and chronic inflammation. Soft tissues may deteriorate over time, and the structure of the jaw itself may also be weakened due to overwhelming stress.
The Digestive Process
Digestion is not a simple process. Multiple organs are involved in the breakdown of food. For the digestive process to run smoothly, each aspect must be functional; and the mouth is the starting point. A major problem of eating without teeth is the insufficient breakdown of food into small, easily digestible particles. Particles that are too large force the stomach to produce more acid and many of these particles remain relatively undigested when they enter the colon. This leads not only to frustrating flatulence but can also encourage bacterial growth in the intestinal tract.
What You Can Do
If you’re not using your dentures when you eat, there is a reason other than neglect. Of course, you don’t enjoy eating if your dentures are slipping and sliding around the mouth. Your Grayslake dentist can help. See how just a few dental implants can stabilize an ill-fitting denture. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit to Advanced Dental Arts.