Three Signs Your Grandpa Has Not Been Wearing His Dentures Regularly
If your grandpa lives in an assisted living home, you may visit weekly to see how he is doing. Staff there should be providing care, and making sure your grandpa's hygiene is up to snuff. One such hygiene item that can quickly become a major issue is dentures. Dentures need to be worn daily, and worn the whole day unless your grandpa naps. You can easily spot if Grandpa has not been wearing his dentures if you see any of the following.
Lips Have Marks on the Inside and Outside
When Grandpa does not wear his dentures, the lips begin to curl inward and stretch over his bare gums. He frequently has marks on the inside of his lips where his gums have rubbed against his lips. On the outside, the lips are cracked and often quite chapped. If your grandpa goes through a lot of chapstick, it is probably because his lips are not where they should be most of the time (i.e., on the outside of his mouth over his dentures).
The Chin and Lower Jaw Are Jutting Forward
Without the dentures holding Grandpa's lower jaw in alignment with the upper jaw, and no natural teeth to do the same job, the lower jaw begins sliding forward. Eventually, the chin is so far forward that you can see a distinct change in your grandfather's profile, with his chin leading the way. This also causes problems with swallowing and choking when eating. These issues can still be corrected and reversed if your Grandpa wears his dentures regularly.
Grandpa Has a Lot of Trouble Breathing
Barring other health problems, the cause of your grandfather's breathing problems could be that he is not wearing his dentures. The dentures keep the airway open so that every breath your grandpa breathes gets into his lungs. Without the dentures, gums touch gums and narrow the airway. The next time you escort your grandfather to a dentist, ask for X-rays of your grandpa's airway, with and without dentures. This will help determine if the breathing issues are directly related to wearing or not wearing dentures on a daily basis.
Getting Grandpa to Wear His Dentures
Talk to the staff of the facility where your grandpa lives. Request that they make greater effort to get your grandfather to wear his dentures. If he is refusing, ask him why he does not want to wear his dentures. If they are uncomfortable to wear, you can help him get a new pair that are more comfortable.