Man's Coughing Due To Denture He Unknowingly Swallowed

| by Jared Keever
Part of denture lodged in man's esophagusPart of denture lodged in man's esophagus

Doctors in India reportedly discovered that a 55-year-old man unknowingly swallowed part of his denture during a seizure.

A week before arriving at the doctor's office, the man had reportedly swallowed the partial denture during a seizure without knowing it, the Daily Mail reports.

According to a report published by BMJ Case Reports, the man came to after the seizure and found a broken piece of the dental hardware on the floor. He searched for the other piece of the denture but was unable to find it. Assuming it was lost he gave up and continued his daily routine. 

Five days later the man, who was not named, developed a cough accompanied by tightness in the chest and breathing difficulty. As the symptoms worsened he sought a doctor’s advice. 

A chest X-ray revealed that the missing portion of his dental hardware was lodged in his esophagus. 

After several failed attempts, doctors removed the denture with the help of a rigid esophagoscopy.

The journal noted that patients swallowing dental hardware is not as uncommon as some might think; dentures account for just over 11 percent of foreign objects found to be blocking the esophagus. 

And a 2012 article from The Atlantic reported that dentures are the third most common foreign object doctors find in the adult digestive tracts. Fish and other bones are the most common objects found.

As for the subject of the BMJ case report, doctors said he was closely monitored after his denture was removed and was eventually released from care in a healthy state. 

The report suggested that fixed dental implants are likely a better option than removable dentures for seizure patients. 

Sources: Daily Mail, BMJ Case Reports, The Atlantic

Photo credit: BMJ Case Reports, sander_123/Flickr