The rising demographic of the aging people leads to prevalence of several age-related changes (physiological, psychosocial, functional and pharmacological) which might alter the nutritional status of an individual, most commonly being malnutrition. Nutrition provides essential stratum for the sustenance of genetic heritage. Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy oral cavity which enhances the possibility of successful prosthodontic treatment in the elderly.
Poor oral and dental health leads to impaired masticatory function which causes inadequate food choice altering nutrition intake by an individual. Elderly compensate for the decreased masticatory efficiency by selecting either processed or cooked foods. Some people may eliminate entire food groups from their diets due to reduced masticatory ability . Dentate people tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than complete denture wearers.
For successful prosthetic rehabilitation of the oral cavity, a healthy and complete balanced diet is necessary in the geriatric patients.
A Complete Balanced Diet for a long denture wearing geriatric patients and new denture wearing geriatric patients differs slightly in the beginning as the comfort of denture wearing and its duration is directly affected by the type of diet taken.
A long denture wearing geriatric patient should have these in his diet :
~A minimum of 8 glass of water/liquid(fruit juice , vegetable juice , low nonfat milk or soup) [Must]
~Enriched grains, cereals, tubers.
~Vegetables and Fruits
~Low and nonfat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese
~Dry beans and nuts, poultry, fish, lean meat and eggs.
~Sweets and Fats in moderation or sparingly.
~Calcium, Vitamins(D & B12) supplements if necessary.
Whereas, a new denture geriatric patient is put on a liquid diet on the first day. Ingestion of soft foods such as bread, porridge, fruits, yogurt, etc is recommended for the next two days. From 4th day onward the patient is asked to try firmer foods such as corn, rice, etc. After a week, the patient can ingest all types of food.
Dietary counseling is important in post-denture insertion. This is to avoid sore spots , denture sore mouth (both caused due to the type of food munched/chewed) and Burning mouth syndrome (most common condition seen in denture wearing geriatric patients caused due to nutritional deficiency).
Dietary analysis and counseling during the denture therapy can indicate
Any severe nutritional deficiency or disease present in the elderly, who then, can be referred to his/her physician for a more detailed diagnosis and treatment.
Dietary pattern indicating excessive consumption of cariogenic foods which can be altered by a dentist.
Denture failures, many times, are the result of nutritional deficiencies. Consequently, good health and nutrition of older patients have also played an important role in giving successful, satisfactory prosthetic rehabilitation. Hence, dietary analysis and counseling should be strictly incorporated into geriatric treatment planning during prosthetic rehabilitation.