What (and How) to Eat When You're Having Dental Issues: Problems Chewing or Swallowing
You know that what you eat directly impacts your health, and that includes the health of your teeth and gums. But it can work the other way around too. If you have an orthodontic appliance, such as braces, or have had certain dental problems or procedures, the health and comfort of your teeth and gums can directly impact what you eat. Here are some tips for what to eat and how to avoid these common dental issues.
Chewing problems may be caused by tooth loss, gum disease, cavities and ill-fitting dentures, so your first step should be a visit to your dentist to help determine the cause of your problem. Meanwhile, eating soft foods (see tips for braces) can you help maintain your nutrients until you can see your dentist.
Swallowing problems can occasionally happen, but if it persists, talk to your doctor since it could be related to something serious. Causes of swallowing issues vary and treatment depends on what is causing the problem.
If you are having trouble swallowing, to prevent choking and aspiration avoid these foods:
- alcoholic beverages
- extremely hot foods and beverages
- spicy foods
Depending on level of swallowing difficulty, the following foods may be included in the diet. These foods are grouped into four different categories:
- Thin liquids that dissolve quickly in the mouth such as frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatin and broth.
- Nectar-like liquids where liquid coats and drips off a spoon such as nectars, milkshakes, cream soup and vegetable juices.
- Honey-like liquids that flow off a spoon in a ribbon like in yogurt, tomato sauce and honey.
- Spoon-thick liquids that are thickened to pudding consistency such as pudding, custard or hot cereal.
The lists above are partial, please read the entire article at MouthHealthy.org to view the full lists.