2011 Volume 77 Issue 3 Pages 85-93
Here we investigated the influence of oral pain due to dentures on the food intake of elderly people. The average annual food intake of groups with or without pain was compared. Intake of soybeans, meat and confectionery was significantly higher in the group with pain. Changes in food intake from age 73 (2001) to 74 (2002) were studied. In the group with pain, fruit consumption significantly decreased, but alcohol, mayonnaise, and dressing intake significantly increased ; average intake of vegetables was lower and fruit consumption decreased over time in the pain group. This implies that painful dentures affect the intake of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. As painful dentures not only limit food choice but decrease food intake, uncontrolled pain may be a factor leading to poor nutrition, and be hazardous to life in the long run. Improvements in pain control and selection of foods that do not cause pain are needed to improve nutrition of elderly persons with dentures. Less painful dentures might improve QOL and protect the nation's health. We recommend further study of denture users, with and without pain, and by gender.