June 22, 2022
It’s a fact of life that your sense of taste gets weaker with age. As you grow older, your mouth produces less saliva, leading to dry mouth and thus diminished flavor in foods and drinks. However, did you know that dentures and taste can have a negative relationship too? Among other things, the former can sometimes interfere with the latter. To learn more, here’s a summary of three things about dentures that can harm your sense of taste.
Why Do Dentures Affect Taste?
At the end of the day, your false teeth aren’t exactly like natural ones. Namely, dentures have unique qualities that sometimes cause them to disrupt the flavor of your meals. These features can be grouped under the three headings below.
They Collect Food Deposits
Over time, dentures collect food deposits and stains as they’re used. Unless treated, these “leftovers” can occasionally cause a bad taste or interfere with the taste of foods. After all, it can be hard to sense the flavor of a steak when you’re tasting bits of last week’s lasagna.
They Can Cover Taste Buds
Full upper dentures are often associated with some loss of taste. Many have base plates covering the taste buds on your mouth’s roof. However, the palate’s role varies — base plates don’t impact everyone. Furthermore, the human brain can sometimes adjust to the base plate and return taste to normal.
They Need Denture Cream
Depending on their fit, some dentures require that you use a heavy amount of adhesive. While these creams prevent your prosthetic from slipping, they can also cause taste loss. In particular, they have a strong metallic flavor that can keep you from tasting other things.
Tips for Improving Your Sense of Taste
As it happens, each of the above issues can be fixed with the right response. That said, try practicing these tips:
- Clean Your Dentures Properly: Keeping them clean is one of the best ways to avoid stain buildup and keep food deposits from altering taste sensations.
- Consider Dental Implants: Implant-retained dentures remove the need for a base plate, leaving the taste buds on the roof of your mouth alone.
- Get Better-Fitting Dentures: You could consider new ones that need less adhesive. If you’re having trouble with this issue, you may need a denture reline.
While your sense of taste weakens with age, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways of keeping it around longer. Talk to your dentist about dentures’ condition to see if alterations could make your food more flavorful.
About the Author
Dr. Bobby J. Carmen is a dentist in Norman, OK, having earned his DDS from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Dentistry. He also completed the LSU Cosmetic Dentistry Continuum by studying under pioneers of cosmetic dental work. As such, he’s a skilled clinician specializing in cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentistry. Dr. Carmen currently practices at his self-titled clinic and can be reached at his website or by phone at (405)-364-2200.
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