Loose dentures choke patients

Hyderabad: Imagine swallowing your dentures and getting them stuck in your food pipe. Not a common occurrence, but there were two cases at a private hospital in the last fortnight.

Yellaiah, a 43-year-old businessman from Mahbubnagar district, had a loose denture in his lower jaw. He fell in his shop and it got stuck in his throat, causing severe pain. Local doctors examined him and referred him to Hyderabad for specialists to remove it.

“The denture had to be removed with endoscopic surgery,” said Dr C. Subramanyam, consultant ENT surgeon at KIMS hospital. “The patient came within a few hours of the incident so the damage to the throat was less.”

Veera Reddy, a 55-year-old builder from Ranga Reddy district, swallowed his denture during a severe bout of coughing. The denture’s metal clasp was stuck in his food pipe. He spent an uneasy night unaware of what had happened till morning when he realised the denture was missing. He rushed to hospital where medical scans showed that the metal clasp was scarring the food pipe, causing pain. Open sur-gery was required to remove the clasp and denture.

Dr Bal Reddy, retired principal of Government Dental College explained, “These are rare incidents as there is a safety margin for dentures. Dentures are safe but have to be evaluated every three years,” Dr Bal Reddy, retired principal of Government Dental College said. “People don’t do this and they become loose and generally fall out of the mouth. To fall inside the body is uncommon.”

“Removable dentures are commonly used,” prosthodontist K.Satyendra Kumar said.  “Senior citizens were the ones who suffered as they’'re not able to manage dentures. That’s why we advised them to go for permanent implants.”

Affordability is a factor. Experts say removable dentures are easy to manage, but people have to get it checked and replaced it becomes loose.

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