Dining With Dentures: Will Dentures Affect the Way Food Tastes?

There is much to consider when looking at the possibility of getting dentures. One of the factors that worries many dental patients in regards to dentures is the effect that false teeth might have on the way their food tastes. If your teeth are so badly decayed and damaged that eating is a chore for you, then you may actually be able to enjoy food for the first time in years. There is, however, an adjustment period, the science of which will be explained below.

There Are Taste Buds on the Soft Palate

It is normal for upper dentures to come with a plastic or acrylic plate upon which the false teeth are attached. When in your mouth, this plate is held in place by the suction that occurs between the roof of your mouth and the plate. Unfortunately, this will inevitably affect the way your food tastes—at least until you get used to your dentures.

While most of your taste buds (approximately 10,000) are located on the top and sides of your tongue, the roof of your mouth also has taste buds. Specifically, the soft part which is called the soft palate has some taste buds and so the denture plate may cover these taste buds, slightly reducing the taste of food.

Your Tongue and Throat Are Affected

Your throat also contains taste buds as well as the sides of your tongue. Because the denture may at first change the way you swallow food, your throat taste buds may not come into contact with the food you swallow. Furthermore, if the denture comes into contact with the sides of your tongue, this too will affect the taste of food.

The Effects Are Limited and Short Lived

Do not worry. These effects will only be present in the first few days and weeks. Naturally, your brain needs to adjust to the presence of the denture in your mouth. Once it has done so, it will then be able to focus once more on the taste of your food.

You can also choose to adjust your dentures, for example, by shortening the plate to expose more taste buds on the roof of your mouth. Dentures can be customized in a number of ways.

If you are afraid that your food won't taste the same as it once did once you get dentures, let your dentist know of your concerns. They will suggest an appropriate kind of denture and explore some modifications that can be done to ensure your food tastes as great as it always has.