Partial denture swallowed by patient with dementia

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Purpose:To present a rare case of a male dementia patient in a nursing home who swallowed a partial denture which lodged in the airway.Methods:During breakfast, a patient with moderate dementia experienced a sore throat, labored breathing, and difficulty swallowing. Uncertainty about the cause of these problems was exacerbated by the patient's cognitive losses, his reduced oro-motor function, and awareness of caregivers that the possible involvement of a denture of this size was unlikely. At the beginning of the third day, he developed a low-grade fever and was placed on antibiotics. A chest x-ray was negative.Results:On the fourth day, a flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing was performed, which revealed the partial denture resting in the hypopharynx on the patient's vocal cords.Discussion:Along with pneumonia and viral bronchitis, a swallowed denture needs to be in the differential diagnosis of a dementia patient experiencing difficulty swallowing.Conclusions:Nursing home caregivers be aware that even a sizable partial denture can be swallowed and extra vigilance is essential in caring for dementia patients.

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