Dentures are a reliable way to replace missing teeth. People with dentures often praise them as the world's greatest invention, considering how they enable the wearer to eat and speak normally. However, getting used to dentures can take a while. And though there aren't many disadvantages to having dentures, their interference with digestion, especially in the early phases, is one concern we often hear. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve digestion as your dentures settle in. Watching what you eat, as well as how you eat it, comprises a large part of the transition to dentures. So in this blog, let us go over some of the best techniques and tips for improving digestion- which can help you appreciate your gut while enhancing your oral health.
What and How to Eat in the Initial Days?People who have recently received tooth implants should always start with soft foods and work their way up to thick, crunchy, or chewy foods. Eating red meat, crackers, raw vegetables, or anything rough can put excessive strain on your dentures and gums: increasing the likelihood of inflammation. Starting carefully with soft meals that don't require much chewing will help to alleviate any discomfort or inflammation caused by teeth.
Opt for Soft Foods and Progress GraduallyBegin with a soft mechanical diet. A mechanical soft diet consists of soft, easy-to-eat foods that are prepared by blending, mashing, pureeing, or chopping. Items like applesauce, pudding, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes are some examples. These provide the nutrition you need without affecting your gums or stressing your jaw muscles. Prefer this diet over others during the first few weeks of adjusting to your dentures.
Check the Food's TemperatureDrinking a steaming cup of coffee or that sizzling bowl of ramen might not be the best option for new denture users. Since dentures insulate the mouth, you might find it hard to determine the temperature and could wind up with serious throat burns. So, avoid hot foods that can burn your mouth. Test hot foods on your lips before putting them in your mouth and prevent oral inflammation.
Do Not Hold Liquids in your MouthWith dental implants, holding liquids in the mouth is a big no-no! Not swallowing quickly or keeping the liquid in the mouth for a long time can loosen or shift the bottom dentures. So if you tend to savor the taste of a drink by holding it in your mouth, try breaking the habit for a few weeks.
Avoid Spicy FoodsYour mouth can feel sore or irritated while it adapts to your dental implants. During this time, avoid spicy and tangy food items. These tend to aggravate existing inflammations and can even cause burning or stinging.
If you're confused about what to and what not to eat, follow our list:You can eat:
- Slow-cooked meats like beef brisket, pulled pork, or pot roast
- Ground meats
- Non–nut protein spreads like hummus and cream cheese
- Ripe fruits as such or as smoothies
- Cooked or mashed vegetables
- Applesauce, fine oatmeals, cooked cereals
- Cooked and cooled broth and canned soups
- Puddings and gelatin desserts
- Clear juices
- Sticky foods like candies, gummy bears, peanut butter
- Hot beverages and foods like coffee, tea and soups
- Foods with small but stubborn pieces like popcorn, nuts and seeds
- Chewy meat like pork chops, steak, and ribs
- Chewing gum of all sorts
- Hard fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and corn on the cob
Get Back to Solid Food AgainAfter a few days of struggle, your mouth will adjust to the dentures, and you can move on to more solid foods. But continue being vigilant about what you eat and how you eat it with the following tips.
Sit and EatIt's always best to sit upright after eating. When you sit down for a meal, you eat more leisurely, helping you manage your portion size well. You also tend to chew your food more thoroughly when sitting, which aids digestion. Rushing through a meal standing up could cause you to gulp down food before you munch it properly.
Cut your Food into PiecesCutting your food into small pieces will make it easier to chew, especially when eating tough meats like steak. Avoid gum irritation with this practice and put less strain on your dentures. Cutting food helps to lengthen the lifespan of your dental implants too.
Sip with Your MealsDrinking water during or after a meal helps your body break down and digest meals more quickly. So, while you're eating, consider sipping on water or other liquids to soften your meal and make it simpler to ingest. Drinking fluids while dining can also help you avoid food getting stuck in your dentures.
Replace but IndulgeOpt out of foods that can adhere to the upper or lower molars and dislodge your dentures. Dodge hard-to-chew and sticky food items. Replace tough red meats with poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes, or choose stewed or slow-cooked meats. Have you been wearing dentures for a while but still feel as though you’re struggling to process food every single day? You might feel that way because of your worn-out or ill-fitted dentures. But we got you! At Parkview Dental, we assess your options and suggest only the best for you. Call us at 480-818-9016 or meet us in person today and let Dr. Schmidt fix your dentures and end your battle with food!
Eating After HealingYou should be able to eat almost anything once you've gotten used to dentures. However, even with good dental health and well-fitting dentures, a few overlooked factors can hamper your digestion.
Not chewing food thoroughlyChewing breaks down food into tiny particles and combines it with saliva to make it simpler to ingest. By not chewing food thoroughly, you prevent your body from producing the digestive enzymes found in saliva that are needed to break down the food. Not chewing properly additionally restricts the assimilation of nutrients your body gets while eating. When you wear dentures, you may find it difficult to chew your food as thoroughly as you used to. This can lead to larger pieces of food entering your stomach, which can cause digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Furthermore, larger pieces of food are harder to digest and also harder to draw nutrients from, which can once again lead to other health complications. To ensure smooth digestion, chew thoroughly on both sides of your mouth by mixing ample saliva. If needed, use water to wet and swallow the food. Make it a point to distribute your food particles evenly on both sides of the back of your mouth when you chew.
Improper Chewing TechniqueTraditional dentures do not work the same way as natural teeth. Since dentures aren't attached to your jawbone, they can't execute the same side-to-side motions as natural teeth. As a result, dentures get dislodged frequently and chew ineffectively if you have not adapted to their straight upward and downward chewing movements.
Not chewing long enoughThough this may seem trivial, not chewing your food for an adequate amount of time can disrupt your digestion. Traditional dentures are less efficient at chewing, even when used correctly. So even when you take smaller bites and chew properly, not chewing each mouthful longer actually defeats the purpose. It can also cause the same issues mentioned before, like bloating. Parkview Dental's dentures are designed to give the best possible fit that makes your chewing efficient. Schedule a meeting with Dr. Schmidt to select your preferred type of denture. We improve both your health and your appearance!
Poor Denture FitWorn-out or ill-fitting dentures can make it harder for the user to adequately grind their food before swallowing it. Issues like gum irritation and mouth sores can occur due to poor dentures and can cause further digestive problems. Gagging is another issue that individuals with badly designed dentures face. These dentures make you feel suffocated and full while alternately pressing on the gag-sensitive areas of your palate. Even without anything in your mouth, you may feel a mouthful. While you eat something, you can't help but gag it out.
AerophagiaOne common condition associated with dentures is aerophagia. With ill-fitting dentures, you swallow more gas when you eat. It can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing as it can cause you to have an excess of burping and flatulence. Not just that! This excessive swallowing of air can lead to a severely distended stomach, poor digestion, and pain. Are you a lot gassier since you got dentures? If yes, then the only solution is to get better dentures at Parkview Dental.
Denture adhesives and digestive problemsOver time, shrinkage in the bone structure in the mouth causes dentures to gradually become loose. When this occurs, the dentures should be relined or new dentures made that fit the mouth properly. Denture adhesives fill gaps caused by shrinking bones and give temporary relief from loose dentures. In most cases, properly fitted and maintained dentures do not require the use of denture adhesives. However, some adhesives contain zinc, and swallowing excessive amounts of it can make you sick to your stomach. Avoid this scenario through consultation with Dr. Schmidt. We can equip you with zinc-free adhesives that offer a long-lasting and secure hold. With Parkview Dental, your health and safety are never compromised while determining denture procedures.
Badly maintained denturesOver time, bacteria and food particles accumulate on the dentures, causing bad breath and digestive issues. To prevent these problems, clean your dentures with a denture brush and a mild soap or cleanser after each meal or twice a day. Don't forget to soak your dentures in a denture-cleaning solution overnight to disinfect and remove stains. Regular cleaning will help to keep your dentures in good condition and reduce the risk of digestive issues.
Visit your Dentist RegularlyEven if you don't have any problems with your teeth, you should see your dentist at least once a year for a check-up. When you wear dentures, dental check-ups are crucial. They can help detect any problems before they become serious. Your dentist can examine the comfort and fit of your dentures, make any necessary changes, and offer practical tips to improve your digestion.
More Tips for a Healthy Mouth and Gut:
- Eat nutritious, easy-to-chew food every day
- Stay hydrated and drink water frequently
- Avoid sugary foods
- Have regular dental check-ups
- If you take medication, ask your doctor, pharmacist or oral health professional if it will affect your mouth.
- Quit smoking, drinking and recreational drugs