You've spent your entire life being told that sugar with "rot your teeth." But now that you have dentures, do you need to worry anymore?
When you get a brand-new pair of dentures, life changes in many ways, particularly in the realm of food and nutrition. And while some foods may now seem like they are off-limits, you may wonder if the concerns around sugar are still the same.
The reality is that sugar, in its many forms, affects denture wearers differently than those with natural teeth. Understanding these differences is critical to maintaining your oral health, comfort, and the longevity of your dentures.
The Chemistry of Sugar and Oral Health
To truly comprehend sugar's role in your oral health, it's crucial to understand the underlying chemistry. When you consume sugar, it interacts with the bacteria present in your mouth, leading to the production of acid. This acid is the main culprit behind tooth decay, as it slowly dissolves the enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth.
Sugar and Dentures
If you have partial dentures, you want to be wary of your sugar intake and how it may affect your remaining teeth. While full denture wearers may not worry about cavities, this acid can still harm your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth, leading to discomfort and possible infections.
Sugar and Your Gums
Like your natural teeth, your dentures have pores, and bacteria can hang onto and even thrive on your dentures. As we mentioned, eating sugar fuels the bacteria that make a home here. When this occurs, a byproduct is acids that harm teeth and cause cavities. And while these bacteria and acids will not erode your dentures, they can negatively impact gum health. So, even without teeth, avoiding sugar can help you to prevent gingivitis and even more severe periodontal disease.
Sugar Can Impact Denture Fit
Sugar can indirectly affect the fit of your dentures. High sugar consumption can lead to various health issues, including diabetes. One of the often-overlooked symptoms of diabetes is a change in the shape of your gums and jawbone, mainly due to poor blood sugar control, causing inflammation. This, in turn, can affect the fit and comfort of your dentures, making them feel loose or even causing mouth sores.
The Role of Sugar in Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that presents as white patches in your mouth, often under dentures. High sugar intake can increase the likelihood of this condition, as the fungus responsible, Candida, thrives on sugar. If left unchecked, oral thrush can cause significant discomfort and may even necessitate a change in your dentures.
Balancing Nutrition with Denture Care
Knowing the potential drawbacks of sugar consumption does not necessarily mean you have to completely eliminate it from your diet. A well-rounded diet that includes a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide the sweetness you crave without overloading your system with sugar. Furthermore, these nutrient-rich foods can support overall oral health by providing essential vitamins and minerals.
Moreover, consider adopting healthier sugar alternatives. Natural sweeteners like stevia and xylitol not only offer a lower glycemic index but are also considered safer for your oral health.
Maintaining Denture Hygiene and Check-ups
No matter your sugar intake, proper denture care is paramount. Daily cleaning is a must to prevent bacterial build-up and potential infections. Regular check-ups are equally important, as your dentist can spot and address issues early on, ensuring the comfort and proper fit of your dentures.
Remember, even the slightest discomfort or change in the fit of your dentures should prompt a visit to your dentist, especially if you have recently changed your diet or suspect a high sugar intake.
We are always here to help you navigate your denture issues. Should you have any concerns about your sugar consumption and its impact on your dentures or any other denture problems, don't hesitate to reach out.