Fuel in the body is an interesting topic.
For one, we humans really enjoy eating. We also assume that we must eat…and we are right for the most part! Food is fuel. What we put into our bodies is very important.
Our mouths are full of taste buds (glands) and they detect the tastes that we like and dislike. As humans, we want more of the tastes that we like. That is true for everything we do.
Besides being a source of pleasure, taste buds also act as a warning system. They alert us to the flavor profile, the intensity of the spices or flavor, and whether we feel the food needs something or not. As we age, these taste buds will lose some of their intrinsic function as other organs and systems in the body do that same. Older folks will typically enjoy a meal that is less intensely flavored than a younger person.
What About Teeth
How do the teeth come into this picture and what role do they play in the taste of foods? I am asked this by many patients when we are discussing replacing their missing or failed teeth. We must assess our teeth thoroughly and function similarly to an architect designing a structure.
One would not build a single-family home the same way one would build a multi-floor commercial building. Same holds true for the mouth. As a dentist, one of the most difficult situations we encounter is achieving the patient’s expectations. Most of the times these expectations are reasonable and can be met. The unreasonable ones are truly the tricky ones. For we are blessed when we can spot that one from afar and NOT take it on. But we shall leave this one for another topic, as it will be a long one.
People lose their teeth for several reasons. The leader in those reasons is neglect. Why? Neglect of teeth is often misrepresented because teeth usually do not hurt until it is too late. By the time a tooth begins to hurt, it is usually affecting the nerve and/or the tooth structure is unable to be fixed properly. This is where we try to save teeth beyond the reasonable expectation that it will last. Many times patients want to save their teeth when they realize that losing them changes everything.
Chew On This
Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you could not chew your foods, smile with confidence or even if you could not speak properly and pronounce your words. What would you feel like? Every day as a dentist, I am challenged to find these solutions for everyday people just like you. All the while trying to accomplish what they have as chewing goals.
Chewing… here is a special word. Not everyone eats the same or chews the same. Some prefer raw vegetables; some prefer meats, and some prefer pizza. All these types of foods require a slight variance to how we design these teeth. Your dentist is the architect of your new mouth. So, treat me gently as I do hold a very key role to your life satisfaction.