Taking proper care of your dentures means removing them at night for a thorough cleaning and soak. Although in the past it was considered okay to wear dentures overnight, we are realizing more and more that such a choice can lead to negative consequences. Most serious, of course, is the risk of pneumonia.

But it’s also possible to swallow dentures in your sleep, which may require surgery.

Partial Dentures Can Cause Serious Damage

Fotolia_64426910_Subscription_Monthly_MThis story about the man from Chennai, India, who swallowed his dentures in his sleep highlights the potentially serious risk that comes from swallowing dentures. The partial dentures became lodged in the man’s esophagus (in the words of the article, his “food pipe,” which is actually a common Britishism), and doctors realized the hooks on the dentures were causing significant damage. They decided to remove the dentures with surgery through the throat because the man had previously been admitted for cancer, and they felt that his diseased lungs posed risk for surgery through the chest.

Not Just in India

Before you think that this is something that only happens in other countries, realize that dentures are probably the most commonly swallowed non-food object. The only object sometimes swallowed more often than dentures is bones, but some studies say dentures account for nearly 40% of all swallowed objects.

Although sometimes dentures can be allowed to pass through the body, they may, as in this case, require surgery to remove if they become lodged in the throat or even in the intestines. In 80% of cases, the foreign body passes uneventfully, while in another 20% of cases, endoscopic operations can be used, while actual surgery is required in only 1% of cases.

Better-Fitting Dentures Can Help

Not all cases of swallowed dentures occur at night. Many people swallow dentures while eating because these dentures are not properly secured. Better-fitting dentures can help protect you from the risk of swallowing them.

To learn more about great-fitting dentures in your area, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today.