Dental treatment lets toothless Yemeni woman chew food first time in 35 years

For this Yemeni woman, mashed diet was the world. But a dental counselling session at a Mumbai hospital saw Nadra getting back to normal food habits

For the last 35 years, Nadra’s eating habits have revolved around mashed foods. The 57-year-old from Yemen couldn’t even think of eating anything else as she didn’t have a single tooth.

But these days, her diet plans have changed and she no longer restricts herself to mashed food. The Yemeni woman, however, credits this to Mumbai’s Global Hospital, who helped her in getting a new set of teeth.

When she came to the city earlier this month for a comprehensive health check-up, the doctors at the Global Hospital insisted on her getting dental counselling done. The process started after Nadra and her family members agreed.

Dental treatment lets toothless Yemeni woman chew food first time in 35 years
Nadra mouth before and after getting dentures

“Nadra had come to the hospital for a full body check-up with symptoms of severe gastric problems. On examination, she was referred to us for a dental consultation. We are surprised to find that for 35 years, she didn’t chew food due to a lack of teeth but she didn’t have a problem,” said Dr Anisha Maydeo Bajaj, cosmetic dental surgeon at Global Hospital, Parel.

Dental treatment lets toothless Yemeni woman chew food first time in 35 years
Dr Anisha Maydeo Bajaj, Cosmetic Dental Surgeon

When asked for dental consultation, Dr Anisha said they took hours before she agreed to sit in the dental chair for check-up. “Her first query was, I do not have teeth so what will you check? She said she doesn’t have problem in swallowing the food and have no complaints about not having teeth. It was a tough task to explain her need for dental check-up,” said Dr Anisha.

Accompanied by her daughters, Nadra was explained about the correlation between not chewing food and her longstanding chronic gastric issues. “She had a bloated stomach and severe acidity problems because of swallowing mashed food, which included non-vegetarian food too. At her age, it is important to chew food in order for it to get digest. We had to explain her daughters about the importance of chewing food after which they agreed for dental treatment,” said Dr Anisha.

Going through her medical history, doctors found that whenever she had a dental pain, she would visit a local dentist, but they would only uproot the tooth every time without giving her other options.  “Nadra is a classic example on how we do not pay attention to dental check-ups and take dental problems lightly,” said Dr Anisha.

Dental treatment lets toothless Yemeni woman chew food first time in 35 years
The full mouth dentures Nadra was fitted with which was made in four days

While Nadra agreed to undergo dental treatment, there was another problem. With the family not having enough time in hand, the treatment looked dicey. “Generally implant surgery is the best option in such cases but since she was reluctant for a surgery and didn’t have time in hand, we decided to give her a full mouth denture. The challenge was to get the dentures in four days as it usually takes two weeks,” said Dr Anisha.

With the new dentures in place, Nadra can finally eat food without it being mashed.

“We gave her the best quality, light weighted imported dentures. Apart from the fact that she could chew the food with the new dentures, the pinched look on her face was also taken care of. Her confidence is back and we were happy to see her smile,” said Dr Anisha.