Wearing dentures may impact a person’s nutrition

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New research has found that dentures may have a negative impact on an individual’s overall nourishment, putting them at greater risk for malnutrition.

The study, published in the Journal of Prosthodontics, was conducted by the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry. The purpose of the study was to assess the nutritional profile of denture wearers using biomarkers from electronic dental and health records.

According to the study, researchers matched the dental records of more than 10,000 patients in Indiana with medical laboratory data, specifically markers for malnutrition. The laboratory tests included complete blood count, basic metabolic profile, and lipid and thyroid panel tests. They compared the lab results from two years before a patient received dentures to the two years after.

The results found that people with dentures had a significant decline in certain nutrition markers over those two years. However, people who did not wear dentures did not experience this decline. While the marker levels were still within normal range for the denture wearers, the authors said there is a potential that the levels will continue to decrease with time and is something dentists need to keep in mind.

“Dentures are a significant change for a person. They do not provide the same chewing efficiency, which may alter eating habits,” said senior author Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, MDS, PhD, director of the Regenstrief and IU School of Dentistry Dental Informatics program in a statement. “Dentists need to be aware of this and provide advice or a referral for nutrition counseling. These patients need support during the transition and possible continued monitoring.”