There are plenty of things that people tend to worry about when they have dentures fitted, including pain, excess salivation and whether the dentures will stay in. One thing that people often fail to consider is how wearing dentures will impact their sense of taste.
How Do Dentures Affect Taste?
If you're going to be wearing dentures, you're likely to notice a decrease in your ability to fully taste certain foods, especially in the adjustment period as your mouth gets used to them. This is likely to be more noticeable if you wear a full upper denture since the plate will normally extend across the roof of the mouth. This will cover the palate, blocking off the taste buds that are located there. However, all dentures will tend to interfere with the taste buds located at the tip and edges of the tongue, which will now be in contact with a new plastic surface. This is why some tastes, such as sweetness, may be diminished while others stay the same.
Can You Prevent a Loss of Taste?
One thing that's important to understand is that your sense of taste does tend to diminish as you age. Of course, the likelihood of needing dentures also increases as you get older. You can still do some things to prevent a greater loss of taste.
First remember that the change in your sense of taste is going to be more noticeable during the first couple of weeks of wear, so one of the best things you can do is simply wait until this period is over.
If you still find that your taste seems significantly diminished, make sure you are properly cleaning your dentures. Residual deposits can easily cause a lingering taste that interferes with your ability to enjoy new foods, so make sure you soak your dentures regularly. You might also try using water alone, or an unscented cleaner, instead of cleaners that possess their own aroma. Peppermint might be nice at first, but it can get in the way of other tastes.
If you have several fillings, you should also consider requesting dentures that use a plastic plate instead of a metal one. When different types of metal are introduced inside your mouth, they actually create a very small amount of electricity. This changes the make-up of your saliva and creates a metallic taste.
Talk with your dentist if you have concerns over eating and taste.