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24 November 2017

It is possible to eat without any teeth, but is this a good idea?

Although perhaps much rarer these days, it wasn’t unusual, in the past, to see an older person eating an apple simply by using their gums. It probably wasn’t a pretty sight, but it seemed to work for them, so why should we not do this now?

If you have lost your teeth or are due to have them extracted because of their poor condition, this might be one of the options that crossed your mind, especially if you are concerned about having dental implants, or do not wish to wear dentures.

Jaw and gum problems

One of the more immediate consequences of eating without teeth is that it puts additional strain both on the gums and on your jaw when breaking down the food into small enough pieces to swallow. Whilst this might not be too damaging if done once or twice; if you are doing so on a daily basis, you should certainly expect some problems in the near future.

Your gums will almost certainly become sore and inflamed. This will make it even more difficult to eat, and your mealtimes will be something that you perhaps dread, rather than enjoy. Your jawbone too will have a lot of additional force placed upon it, and, over time, you may have problems with the jaw including pain, clicking, or even a stress fracture.

You could, of course switch to a liquid diet, but this would not be very enjoyable after a while and you could also end up lacking in nutrition.

Stomach problems

Our digestive system begins in the mouth, both with the breaking down of food into small pieces, and the acids in our mouth starting the digestive process. This happens as we chew our food, leaving it in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing it, ready for the next stage of digestion.

Without the ability to chew food properly, we may find that we are swallowing larger pieces of food that have not started the digestive process by the time that they arrive in the stomach. This can cause some people to have stomach pains, and very often additional digestion issues too.

Taking action

Eating without the use of either natural or replacement teeth should not be something that you should consider. Your long term health is at risk and you are also likely to avoid social occasions where eating is involved. There really is no need for this, and our Surbiton cosmetic dentists are here to help you choose the most appropriate teeth replacement method for your own situation.

Whilst dentures are a popular option, people are increasingly turning to dental implants as a stronger and more permanent solution. We can explain the pros and cons of both of these with you during your consultation at the Confidental Clinic. No pressure will be put on you to choose a particular method and it is entirely your choice.

To start on the way to a better eating experience, please ring our Surbiton dental practice on 020 8399 1291.

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