My MIL has forgotten she wears an upper denture plate and it's causing distress. Any advice?


Though it doesn't happen at every meal (the main time when she becomes distressed & notices the "slick" feeling of the roof of her mouth), it has become a very regular occurance, 2-3 times daily on average, for the feelings in her mouth to interfere with her enjoyment of eating ... Even causing her to stop eating, cry, & have a mini-panic attack. She is mid-early late stages of dementia. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as we are running out of things to try to help her feel more comfortable, & ease her mind so that she can eat a healthy meal. (I also think it is impacting the amount of her fluid intake, which concerns me greatly.)

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As an aside on this, for my mom, a pretty great use of her spend down towards Medicaid was in getting dental work done. Crowns, implants, gum work, old silver switched to newer composites. Got rid of all those old "appliance style" bridge work that require them to put in & take out as i knew moms days of ever being capable to do that were ending. Once their in a NH, if they can't brush, floss, etc. on their care is pretty well those red-tipped floride / tooth paste embedded sponge swab sticks. Those are IMHO tits on a bull useless & foodstuffs just remain & decay in their mouth.

Dental outside of dentures or repair due to another covered event (like jaw broken in auto accident) is not covered by Medicare. Medicaid coverage is pretty limited to preventive for kids done in conjunction with your states CHIP initiatives.

Almost to the end, my mom was able to eat and hold & bite into a sandwich, noodles, veggies, proteins. There's so much pleasure & use of cognition in the whole " eating" cycle that having teeth enables them to do.

Dental is certainly not inexpensive but on retrospect an awesome use of spend down. For those reading this, consider spending on dental as a priority.
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I was recently discussing dentures with a friend of mine who's mother had AZ for many years. She told me that her mother had to have all her teeth pulled during this time. She said her mother could not wear dentures, but she ate just fine with no teeth! She said the bony part of the gum enabled her to chew her food and she ate anything she wanted except for hard food of course, or something like steak.

I never knew that was possible. I had inquired because my loved one has gum disease and I am trying to weigh all my options in order to save her teeth.

How has your mom fared with an upper plate until now? Does she put them in herself? Has she ever misplaced them? What has she said the upper plate?
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I would suggest that you call a her doctor and see about a referral to a speech-language pathologist for a swallowing evaluation. Sometimes those with dementia can have swallowing problems. It could be she is having swallowing problem that are being confused with the dentures. Tou can also call the dentist who made the dentures the dentures might not be fitting well and if they slip while she is eating it could cause here to be more aware of the dentures. I hope some of this brings you relief. The way you describe it sounds stressful and upsetting.
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