Woman with her dentures in a cup, trying to breathe

Dentures Are Affecting My Breathing

Last updated: October 2020

Good morning, or should I say good afternoon or evening? I’m still amazed that we can communicate across the world, with a click of a button on our keyboards.

Experiencing dry mouth

About 7 months ago, because of dry mouth, my dentist and I both surrendered, because of the constant need for dental work. I made an appointment with the orthodontist. About 7 months ago, all of my teeth were pulled. I'm having a tough time adjusting to the dentures. Yet, this is the best fit that I've had with them and am happy with how they feel. Except for certain times.

Dry mouth was the reason for the constant need for dental repair and now it's affecting my dentures. The top one can be a mucus trap since the mucus somehow finds its way back there. The dentist trimmed that denture so that the top denture doesn't go as far back on top. Yet it could be triggering a gag reflex.

Yet I’m wondering if the back of that top denture can still be part of my problem. The back of that denture could still be triggering a response from my gag reflex. I have aspirated more than once on snacks, fruit, and more. Maybe I’m not chewing as well as I should. I had even aspirated on liquids and pudding, prior to dentures. I’ll schedule an appointment with my dentist if I need to. I got these dentures three weeks ago after I confirmed this set as the keeper. It felt like everything finally fit. They did, they do.

How can dentures affect COPD?

You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with COPD. Let me start with a question. If you have dentures, does it make it more difficult to breathe? This happens to me. At times it feels like my air is gone and I have difficulty swallowing. When I can't swallow, I can't get air. Yes, it can be associated with my mouth going dry, but it doesn’t happen as often without my dentures. With dentures, my mouth is drier than it was before.

I struggle with that suffocating feeling. Sometimes it feels necessary to take the dentures out to get air, oxygen moving. Taking sips of water is a must as well. I keep Biotene spray in a couple of rooms so it's easily within reach. That makes quite a difference. The dentures are not worn to bed.

Keeping dentures clean

My husband would let me know if I did have bad breath, for sure. Knowing my history of thrush (candida), I’m grateful that I haven’t had it for nearly a year. Advair had been a big cause, Spiriva as well. It almost seems like, “now my teeth are out, so that thrush trap is gone”. The trap being my back teeth. This is where inhaled medications were caught and trapped.

Without teeth, it seems much easier to keep my mouth clean. I know it’s necessary to spend more hours in a day with the dentures on. After all, I’m still adjusting to this fit. They also need to be washed each time, after wearing them. Then soaked in a solution overnight. Some of the tablets say to use for 5 minutes. So it varies. I’m going to use distilled water for soaking. Distilled water is used for my C-PAP and oxygen humidifiers. It's also used for my Neti-pot, that I use for sinus baths.

Proper hydration is helpful

My biggest recommendation: Drink water! Water keeps the mouth moistened, teeth healthier and the ability to wear dentures longer. It's very helpful for the rest of your body as well. Do pursed-lip breathing and use your rescue inhaler when necessary.

Do you have any recommendations? Helpful hints on how to clean the adhesive off of gums and more would be most appreciated!

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