People who wear dentures, run a higher risk of musculoskeletal frailty, according to new research from King's College London. According to the researchers although dentures improves masticatory function, their bite force is much weaker than that of natural teeth.
The research revealed that people with over 20 teeth were significantly less likely to be frail and were also found to have consumed the greatest amount of nutrients over the study period.
Participants who had fewer than 20 teeth and who did not use dentures, as also those who did use dentures - were found to have consumed the least intake of nutrients, as against the Recommended Dietary Intakes recommended by the US food and drug administration.
In both cases, tooth loss and wearing dentures was associated with joint and muscle frailty which can leave people at risk of bone breakages and falls.
According to the scientists, people with dentures, or fewer teeth find it difficult to eat foods such as fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, which are essential for good nutrition.
''Persons with inadequate dentition are less likely to eat hard food that is difficult to chew, for example, some of the fresh fruits and vegetables, apples, pears, carrots, nuts etc,'' said Dr Wael Sabbah, from King's College London Dental Institute.
''They could also have difficulties in eating some cooked food such as meat, depending on the way it is cooked.''
The UK counts around 11 million dentures wearers and although only 6 per cent of people now have no teeth as against 37 per cent in 1978, 74 per cent have needed at least one tooth extracting.
The study examined the health of over 1,800 people who had an average age of 62. The study participants were categorised into three groups; having at least 20 teeth, denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth, and non-denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth.