13 Dec

New research suggests a link between dentures and muscle frailty

New research has revealed a link between wearing dentures and musculoskeletal frailty.
The study, which was led by Dr Weal Sabbah, from King’s College London Dental Institute, suggests that people who are aged over 50 and have fewer than 20 natural teeth are more likely to experience increased frailty in the muscles and joints. Researchers believe that wearing dentures could be a significant contributing factor, as denture wearers tend to avoid certain foods, which may mean that they miss out on key nutrients.
The research team said that while wearing dentures can improve the ability to chew food, a denture is significantly weaker than natural teeth and this may restrict the range of foods available to denture wearers.
The team found that over 50’s with more than 20 natural teeth were much less likely to experience frailty compared to those with fewer than 20 natural teeth. This included people who wore dentures and those who didn’t have dentures. People who had more than 20 natural teeth were also more likely to consume more nutrients than those with fewer teeth according to comparisons with recommended daily intake guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr Sabbah explained that the study, which involved data collected from 1,000 Americans aged over 50, suggested that wearing a denture could increase frailty because dentures may not ensure that people are able to chew “effectively.” He added that the findings could be used to analyse the relationship between oral health, denture use and frailty in patients who demonstrate symptoms of weak joints and muscles.
The findings of the study have been published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International.