Dentures and Nutritional Health

There are a number nutritional issues that may occur in the elderly due to wearing improperly fitting dentures, and it is imperative that these issues are not dismissed as simply a normal part of the aging process.

The elderly need to eat a variety of nutrient dense foods including a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean proteins, as well as adequate water intake. An increase in both calcium and vitamin D are needed to maintain bone health as people age, and fibre should also be increased as peristalsis can slow during the ageing process.

However, older adults with dentures have been found to consume less food energy and significantly less protein, intrinsic and milk sugars, calcium, iron, niacin and vitamin C than those without dentures. Studies have found that older adults with full or partial dentures had diets considerably lower in 19 different nutrients as compared to adults without missing teeth. Many of the nutrients missing are found in hard to chew foods such as stringy meats, some vegetables and fruits such as carrots and apples, as well as nuts.

 

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