• August 31, 2022
eating without teeth can cause numerous oral health issues

There are many reasons why people may lose their teeth. If not correctly addressing the issues, eating may have challenges. Even dentures can be challenging. While it may be tempting to take them out to eat, this would not be a good idea. Here are some risks you may face from eating without teeth.

Gum and Jaw Issues

The obvious function of teeth is for chewing to break up food in your mouth. The purpose of teeth is also to protect your gums and jaw. Your jaw muscles can exert a bite force of around 200 to 250 pounds of pressure with natural teeth. While you tend to lessen that force when eating without teeth, you are still putting a lot of pressure directly on the gums. This can cause sores or gum infections to develop.

Without the pressure that chewing with teeth places on the jawbone, your jawbone will weaken. As your jawbone weakens, you will start to increase your risk of fractures.

While you may be considering a option such as sticking to soft foods, this is not a good idea long term. While soft foods may help protect your mouth, it is difficult to maintain a proper diet for your overall health with soft foods alone.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Your gut is impacted by what your put in it. This not only is impacted by what foods you choose, but also by chewing your foods. We may think of digestion beginning in the stomach, but it in fact begins in the mouth.

Chewing breaks food particles down small enough for your body to fully digest and absorb the nutrients. It also introduces the enzymes and bacteria in your saliva to aid in the process as well. One option you can do is select processed foods and make them small or soft. However, your body will miss the benefits that chewing provides to the digestive process.

When food is not digesting properly, it can cultivate bacterial growth in your gut. This can lead to flatulence, other symptoms of indigestion, discomfort, or even make you sick.

What Can You Do

The most important thing you should do is meet with your dentist and develop a plan. Your dentist will help you protect your mouth. This includes dentures, dental implants, bridges, braces, and other solutions to provide you with teeth for eating. If you are in the greater Joliet IL area, come see us at Shorewood Family Dental Care. Our staff will work with you to ensure you have a healthy mouth and can enjoy your favorite foods for years. We will be able to help you develop a strategy to address any missing teeth and protect your gums and jawbone. Contact us today to schedule your visit.