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Savoring Life: How Dentures May Affect Your Sense of Taste

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjohnupton @ 8:06 pm
Patient with dentures eating food

Dentures are incredibly valuable for patients missing multiple teeth, restoring both function and aesthetics to their smile. However, sometimes adjusting to life with them involves more than just getting used to daily wear. For example, some patients may experience significant taste loss while their prosthetics are in. But why is that? Read on to learn how dentures can affect your ability to savor your favorite foods.

How Does Taste Work?

Taste is one of the more complex senses as it relies on multiple parts of your mouth and face to function properly. The primary taste buds are on your tongue; over 10,000 of them on average!

Your palate, throat, and cheeks also contain taste receptors that detect chemicals in your saliva. Finally, your sense of smell can influence how well you taste. Without these systems working together, your sense of taste is decreased or altered.

How Do Dentures Cause a Loss of Taste?

When you first begin wearing dentures, you may notice changes in your ability to taste food. While your prosthetics may not be the only reason for this, they are a major contributor. Here’s how your taste buds might be dulled:

  • Covered Palate: Upper dentures cover the palate of the mouth where some of your taste receptors are. This weakens your mouth’s ability to distinguish flavors.
  • Reduced Sensitivity: As you age, your ability to perceive certain tastes diminishes, affecting your ability to detect subtle flavors and textures. Dentures worsen this issue by reducing the contact between your taste buds and your food.
  • Increased Saliva Production: Some patients find they have increased saliva production when wearing dentures. This watery fluid breaks down and carries tastes across your mouth, but too much can affect taste perception.

How Can I Improve My Taste with Dentures?

If you’re worried about the decrease in your ability to taste, here are some steps you can take:

  • Clean Your Dentures: Bacteria and lingering food particles can sour the flavor of everything you eat. Be sure to clean them twice a day and rinse them after meals to keep them fresh.
  • Make Sure They Fit: Ill-fitting dentures are far more likely to affect your taste than comfortable ones. This is especially true if you overuse dental adhesives that can leave a lingering metallic aftertaste.
  • Consider Implant Dentures: Prosthetics secured with dental implants are less bulky and cover less of your mouth, potentially increasing your ability to savor your favorite foods.

While adjusting to dentures can be challenging, it’s important to remember that they offer many benefits. With patience, proper care, and a positive attitude, you can continue to enjoy fulfilling culinary experiences and savor all of life’s flavors with your prosthetics.

About the Author

Dr. John H. Upton is an exceptional dentist who prides himself on his quality dental work and high level of patient care. He earned his dental doctorate from the Baylor College of Dentistry and since then has expanded his skills through multiple prestigious institutions like the L.D. Pankey Institute. Call (623) 878-6333 to schedule a denture consultation at Arrowhead Dentistry or visit the website to discover other services they offer.

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