Digestion is a very complex process which begins right from the moment you put food into the mouth and only ends once all the nutrients and water has been absorbed into the system. Although eating healthy and nutritious foods is considered as the key to a healthy digestive system, it is imperative to think about the manner in which you chew the food and break it down in the mouth. A lot of people oversee the process of mechanically breaking down food into smaller pieces and this ends up affecting their overall healthy.
Chewing mechanically breaks down very large aggregates of food molecules into smaller particles. This increases the surface area over for the action of enzymes. Without proper chewing therefore, the entire digestion process is affected at its very first stage. This is why people with dental complications which inhibit their ability to properly chew food need to quickly seek medical help and get the dental complications corrected. People with missing teeth especially should be particularly concerned about their digestion because the missing teeth affect their overall health directly,Here are 5 reasons why missing teeth adversely affect digestion of food;
Inhibited enzyme action
Saliva contains the enzyme amylase which is responsible for the breakdown of starch in the food. For the enzyme to act on the food properly, the food has to be chewed properly and broken down into smaller molecules. This means that if you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, the food will not be broken down properly and the enzyme action will be inhibited. Starch in the food you ingest will therefore not be fully utilized and you will have wasted a lot of meaningful nutrients.
Difficulties in swallowing food
Missing teeth will affect the way you chew your food and swallowing problems will arise as a result. If food is not properly chewed and broken down into very small pieces, swallowing will be a big problem and this affects the entire digestive system. The reason why most children have swallowing problems have swallowing problems is because they don’t have fully developed teeth. This is exactly what happens to adults with missing teeth. Some chunks of food will end up being swallowed whole and this is very dangerous.
Missing teeth affect production of saliva
Saliva is only produced once we start chewing food. If there are missing teeth in the mouth, there will be a deficiency in the production of saliva and this is detrimental to digestion as a whole. Saliva is instrumental in the digestion process. It contains salivary amylase and lingual lipase which is secreted by glands located at the root of the tongue. This two enzymes are very important in the digestion of starch and lipids respectively. If enough saliva is not produced therefore, the target nutrients will go to waste and will not be fully utilized. Lack of enough saliva will also affect the movement of food down the esophagus. Saliva acts as a lubricant and makes it easy for food to move down the channels. Missing teeth are therefore a very big hindrance as far as digestion is concerned.
Chewing of food relaxes the lower stomach muscles
Chewing is directly connected to the movement of food in the digestive tract. Chewing particularly counts affects the movement of food from the stomach to the ileum. The pylorus is a small muscle at the distal end of the stomach which acts as a gate for food to pass down from the stomach into the small intestines. Production of saliva resulting from proper chewing helps the pylorus to relax and let food to move through your digestive tract as required. If you are missing some teeth, the chewing process will obviously be hindered and the movement of food will not be as required.
Missing teeth promote the growth of bacteria
When food is not well chewed and the fragments are not broken down to the right sizes, it becomes hard for the enzymes to take action resulting in incomplete digestion. The nutrients are therefore not fully utilized from the food you ingest and this is wasteful. Undigested food also becomes good replenishment for bacteria and other disease causing organisms. They thrive on these undigested food particles and will affect your health. All this is as a result of missing teeth.
Don’t let missing teeth come in the way of proper food digestion. There are very many viable options available for replacing missing teeth and will emulate natural teeth. Dentures and dental implants are some of the best treatment options you can use to replace missing teeth and we offer them here at Vita Dental. If you are struggling with missing teeth, give us a call today or visit our offices and we will provide viable options to replace the missing teeth at a very affordable rate.