Friday, December 10, 1999

Dentures key to renewed strength

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Emma Peeks has been unable to eat solid foods for about six months.
(Saed Hindash photo)
| ZOOM |
        For all of her 84 years, Emma Peeks has loved to eat. “I eat everything and anything,” the Walnut Hills woman says. “I have no choice foods, I just like food.” But because of problems with her teeth, Mrs. Peeks has been able to eat only soup and a few other soft foods for about the last six months.

        She has about a dozen teeth left, and most of them are loose and infected. The partial plate she used to wear is no good since her remaining teeth worsened.

        Mrs. Peeks' weight has plummeted from 140 pounds to her current 105. Her strength has declined too, compounding the pain she has from arthritis.

        “I stay weak all the time,” she says. “And I'm tired of eating soup.”

        Mrs. Peeks has lived alone since her husband John died in 1979. She did domestic work for families and retired when she was 65, and he was a crane operator at Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. (now Cincinnati Milacron).

        The couple had no children, but a nephew helps Mrs. Peeks by shopping for her groceries and taking her to the doctor.

        A dentist has recommended that Mrs. Peeks have the rest of her teeth pulled and dentures made, as soon as her blood pressure stabilizes. But she lives on Social Security and can't afford dental work. Mrs. Peeks would like to have the dental work and dentures paid for so she can eat more nutritiously again.

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