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Preserve Your Sense Of Taste With Snap-On Upper Dentures

by Vincent Jennings

Taste is one of the main reasons why people enjoy food. For elderly adults, taste is an especially important sense, as it keeps them interested in eating regularly. Upper dentures, however, can interfere with the sense of taste. If you're entering old age and need dentures, talk to your dentist about snap-on dentures. They may help you preserve your sense of taste -- and your interest in food.

Flavors Come from Aromas

According to InnerBody, taste buds can only identify five flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami, which is sometimes referred to as savoriness. Nowhere are notes of chocolate, green apple or stone fruit, which you might find on a bottle of wine or bag of coffee, identified.

The many other flavors that you enjoy are actually aromas they smell. As Newton's Apple explains, it's a food's "odor molecules," or aromas, that give the food its flavor.

Because flavor is largely derived from smelling, interfering with the ability to smell will decrease your sense of taste. Typically, people associate smelling with sniffing, but the nostrils are only way you smell foods. Aromas also reach your nose through the back of your throat and your palate. Blocking either of these passages will affect how well you can smell, and thereby taste, foods.

Traditional Upper Dentures Can Interfere with Smell

Some patients notice that traditional upper dentures affect their sense of taste. They won't interfere with the tongue's ability to identify sweet, salty, sour bitter or umami, but they can prevent aromas from reaching your nostrils. The palate that holds the upper dentures in place covers the roof of your mouth, and it can prevent odor molecules from traveling to your nasal passageway.

Snap-On Upper Dentures Don't Interfere with Smell

Snap-on upper dentures won't interfere with your ability to taste foods, because they don't have a palate. Instead, the dentures snap into implants that are anchored into your upper gum. The implants hold the denture in place, without covering the roof of your mouth. They won't affect how well you can smell, and by extension taste, food, because aromas will still be able to reach your nasal passage easily.

If you need upper dentures, ask a dentist (such as one from Denture Care and Hygiene) about the advantages of snap-on dentures. They may help you preserve your ability to smell—and taste—foods. As you age, this will help you stay interested in and enjoying food on a daily basis.