Denture Talk: Can Dentures Affect Taste?

There are so many benefits to wearing dentures. For many denture wearers, the best part is the ability to once again enjoy biting and chewing some of their favorite foods. While they can bite and chew better now, some may find that they lose some of their ability to taste their favorite foods.

Are the dentures are responsible for this loss of taste?

Can dentures really alter your ability to taste and enjoy those favorite foods?

If so, are you now doomed to a life of a great smile but bland foods?

This is a common concern by those who are considering getting dentures. Will a new set of dentures impact a patient’s ability to taste and enjoy foods? In truth, the short answer is yes. But it is a little bit more complicated than that. The good news is that it may not necessarily be your dentures themselves that are responsible for the changes in taste when you eat or drink a familiar favorite.

Reasons why dentures can affect taste

Taste changes with age

As we grow older, we can experience changes in our sense of taste. It can be uneven and greatly differ between individuals. While some may see only minor diminishing tastes for some flavors, others may find that some of their favorite flavors are barely detectable.

If you’ve started to notice that you rely heavily on adding salt to your dinners, or you’re reaching for the sweet treats more, it could be that your sense of taste has altered as a natural part of aging.

It is often the natural process of aging that contributes to taste changes for elderly denture wearers. However, age is not always to blame. Younger denture wearers also report a loss in taste once they are fitted with dentures.

Denture fit and adhesives

If you find yourself using more denture adhesives, it could be that the fit of your dentures needs to be addressed. The gels and creams used to get a more secure denture fit have been known to impact taste. A metallic aftertaste can become an issue with the overuse of these adhesives.

Ensuring that you have a good fit for your dentures, and reducing the need for large amounts of denture adhesive, can help you eliminate this concern.

The effect of full upper dentures

It’s a common misconception that our taste buds are only found on our tongue. Certainly, most of them are located on the tip of our tongue. However, there are also taste receptors on the roof of our mouth, in our throat, and inside of our cheeks.

The full upper denture can often include a base plate to keep it secured in place. While this is great for stability, it does cover up the taste buds located on the roof of our mouth.

New full upper dentures can decrease taste, but the taste can eventually return with time.

Denture hygiene

Just like our natural teeth, dentures can accumulate food debris and plaque. Dentures can also become stained. Over time, this accumulation on your dentures can result in a loss of taste. It can also lead to unpleasant smells and tastes.

While dentures cannot get cavities like natural teeth, they can stain and degrade without proper care. In addition, excess bacteria growth on your dentures does have the potential to lead to infections in your gums.

Options for restoring taste

You can take several steps to restore your taste and, of course, your enjoyment of those favorite foods.

Those who have full upper dentures could consider dental implants. A complete set of dental implants is often cost-prohibitive for many, but implant-supported dentures are an excellent middle-ground solution. There are options for supporting dentures with four or six dental implants, which will eliminate the need for the base plate that can impact the receptors on the roof of your mouth.

Be sure that your dentures are fitting correctly. A discussion with denture professionals can help you to get your dentures better fitting. It might be time for a reline of your dentures, mainly if you are overly reliant on goopy denture adhesives.

Keep your dentures cleaned and maintained. This should include using denture-safe toothpaste and brushes to clean them at the end of each day. Soaking them in a denture cleaning solution overnight will help to keep them clean and fresh.

While a change in the way you taste and enjoy favorite foods can be quite common for denture wearers, don’t ignore it. Be sure to make an appointment with your denture pros. Sometimes all it takes is an adjustment in the way that your dentures fit.

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