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Here’s why it’s best to remove false teeth before surgery: You just might swallow them.

A medical journal is reporting the case of a 72-year-old British man whose partial dentures apparently got stuck in his throat during surgery and weren’t discovered for eight days.

The man knew his dentures were missing, but didn’t realize where they were. It’s rare, but a half dozen other cases have been documented of dentures going astray during procedures.

This patient recovered after the dentures were removed from his throat.

The journal BMJ Case Reports published the paper Monday. The man and the hospital weren’t identified.

It’s not just dentures that can cause problems. Placing a tube in a patient’s airway can push things like loose teeth, retainers and tongue piercings where they don’t belong.

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