You might not think of yourself as someone affected by malnutrition. But this issue doesn't necessarily mean that you're not getting enough to eat, it can mean that your diet isn't providing you with sufficient nutrients. It's all too possible for someone with dental problems to become malnourished.
Calories Per Day
You might already be consuming enough calories each day, but depending on the precise nature of your diet, these can be empty calories with little nutritional value, often obtained from refined carbohydrates (processed foods). If your diet lacks adequate micronutrients in the form of necessary vitamins and minerals, you can still be malnourished despite having enough to eat. And of course, the health of your teeth and gums play a critical role in what you can eat.
Decaying, fragile teeth can obviously place some limitations on what you can safely eat. As the health of your teeth declines, your diet changes, and you may find yourself eating less, or eating excessive refined carbohydrates to fill yourself up. You may think that you're doing the right thing by not straining your compromised teeth, but you could be making the problem worse. The oral bacteria in your mouth love the refined carbohydrates in processed foods, combining with this food source to create an acidic compound, which causes further deterioration of your teeth. Your body's immune response needs dietary micronutrients to function, meaning someone who is malnourished can be at a greater risk of bacterial conditions which affect the gums, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease.
Restoring Your Bite
Short of transitioning to an exclusively nutrient-rich, soft food diet, the best way forward is to have your ability to bite and chew restored, and only your dentist can do this. Bite restoration can involve different methods, from reinforcing weak teeth with dental crowns, to replacing missing teeth with dental implants. If it's beyond your means to pay for these types of treatment, more cost-effective options are available, such as extracting damaged teeth and replacing them with full or partial dentures. Whatever the method, the outcome is to restore your ability to bite and chew, allowing you to easily consume all the micronutrients you need to stay healthy.
Malnutrition robs your body of the essential nutrients it needs, and you don't want your damaged teeth to prevent this from happening. It might have been a while since you last visited them, but you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.
For more information, contact a local office like Sacrey & Sacrey Dentistry.