Eating without dentures can put individuals at risk of certain health hazards, such as choking or worse. One of the most common dangers people face when they don’t eat with their dentures is large chunks of food getting stuck in their throat. Often times, the food will eventually pass through with water consumption, but it’s still a dangerous experience.
Many may not be aware that this is a condition called food bolus impaction, or steakhouse syndrome. When large or hard pieces of food, such as meat or vegetables, aren’t chewed properly before being swallowed, they are liable to get caught in one of the tubes inside of the neck. The two tubes are known as the windpipe, or the trachea, and the food pipe, or the esophagus. When food gets stuck in the trachea, it’s possible that individuals lose air circulation and start choking, which could be life-threatening.
Sometimes, food gets stuck further down the esophagus, which does not prevent one from breathing or speaking. However, the stuck food can cause extreme discomfort, such as chest pain that feels similar to cardiac arrest. The individual won’t be able to swallow water or saliva. The stuck food may cause excessive drooling, in which case individuals can use a towel or a cup to contain the drool.
If food is stuck for over twelve hours, then serious health concerns may arise, including perforation of the esophagus. Individuals may have to go to the emergency room to have an endoscope inserted into their esophagus to successfully push the food into the stomach or retrieve the food via the mouth.
Elderly adults are more at risk of experiencing food bolus impaction, especially men. Dentures can be uncomfortable to adjust to at first, which is why individuals often choose to eat without them. However, it’s not worth swallowing whole chunks of food and putting oneself at risk of life-threatening danger.
If individuals are experiencing discomfort when wearing their dentures or when chewing food, it’s important that they schedule an appointment with a dental professional to have their dentures adjusted so that they can fit properly. The adjustment will make wearing dentures more comfortable and eating should be significantly easier.
At McBride Dental, we offer services for individuals who need full or partial dentures, or need their dentures repaired. We create and fix dentures in our in-office lab, which speeds up the process for patients who need new dentures, or their dentures repaired. Our mission is to help our patients restore the function and beauty of their smile so that they can live a comfortable life. After a thorough inspection, Dr. McBride will decide if a complete denture will replace all of the teeth in both of the dental arches or just one. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment with us, contact us today at (760) 471-1003. We are excited to help you obtain the beautiful smile you desire and live a life full of confidence, no matter what age.