Dentures may take a bite out of your nutrition, a new study warns.
"They do not provide the same chewing efficiency, which may alter eating habits," said senior author Dr. Thankam Thyvalikakath, director of the Regenstrief Institute and the School of Dentistry Dental Informatics program at Indiana University in Indianapolis. "Dentists need to be aware of this and provide advice or a referral for nutrition counseling."
For the study, researchers examined the dental records of more than 10,000 people in Indiana, as well as their results on laboratory tests for markers of malnutrition.
A comparison of lab results from two years before a patient received dentures and two years after showed a significant decline in certain nutrition markers.
While those markers were still within the normal range, there is a chance that levels will continue to decline, and dentists need to be aware of that possibility, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Prosthodontics.
"These patients need support during the transition and possible continued monitoring," Thyvalikakath said in a university news release.
People who did not wear dentures did not have decreases in nutrition markers, the study found.
Next steps for the researchers will be assessing other factors that may affect nutrition, including patients' insurance status and the characteristics of dental clinics.
There's more on dentures at the Canadian Dental Association.
SOURCE: Indiana University, news release, April 21, 2022