As we age, our oral health, as well as our overall health, changes. As we get older, it is important to maintain a healthy diet so that we continue to get all the vitamins and minerals we need.
Older adults, however, face certain challenges as they age, making it difficult for them to maintain their oral health. This includes teeth and mouth issues, which affect their diets. These issues often lead to the consumption of softer foods, which means that they are typically eating more carbs and eating less of the nutritious foods that they need.
Challenges they may face include changes in chewing ability, dry mouth (which is often times a side effect of medications), changes in taste and smell, untreated tooth decay, loose teeth, and ill-fitting dentures. All of these issues can seriously alter nutrition. If an elderly man has difficulty chewing, then he will move away from foods that are difficult for him, such as raw vegetables, nuts, and fresh fruit—all of which are packed with nutrients.
A way to combat these issues is to get creative with your food. Try canned foods with no added salt or sugar, since they can be easier on teeth. Opt for chopped or ground up meats and cook fresh vegetables to soften them. If you continue to have mouth pain, or are still having trouble eating your favorite nutritious foods, then visit your dentist. They will be able to address the issues in your mouth that prevent you from a healthy diet.