Friday, August 3, 2007

First tooth story

I find it fitting since my name is tooth girl I must give one of my tooth stories every once in a while. Well this one is more like, worst mouth I have ever seen story.
Ok, so I subbed at another dental office for a few hours this week (Dr.R), it was pretty much the worst 6 hours of my life. After rushing from the dental office I work at, literally rushing, I was changing my pants in the car while driving a stick shift and eating my lunch, I hardly made it to Dr. R's office in time. Of course my first patient was a half hour late so the whole rush thing didn't really need to happen.
Anyway, first patient.... yeahh half our late, he had major bone cancer so we weren't going to send him home for being late. I felt bad too.... he just had this hopeless look, a look that made want to hug him and say "it will be ok", the look of cancer a look that is all to familiar f)or me. Well then he opened his mouth.... so sad. He pretty much had any and everything that could ever happen in your mouth all happening at the same time. To name a few things:
-Rampant decay (every tooth that was left in his mouth was badly decayed)
-Halitosis (bad breath)
-Ulcers every where, too many to count
-Xerostomia (Dry mouth) so bad that my mirror stuck to the side of his check and ripped off part of his oral mucosa because there was NO saliva)
-Bleeding gums
-Periodontal disease: aka gum disease (this is how your teeth fall out)
-Heavy plaque and food debris

You know how it feels to have just one canker sore, well just imagine them everywhere.... not fun. Also imagine trying to swallow with no saliva, or chew food with no saliva, also not fun. Dental lesson for today: Saliva is a necessary component of the oral cavity, it not only aides in the digestive process but it helps keep your teeth clean and prevent decay.

I literally didn't know what to do.... It looked like it hurt so bad.... I didn't know how he could eat. He said that spicey food really irritated his mouth, yah think??
So I got out a tooth brush and just started to brush, to get off the big stuff, it was bleeding everywhere and I am sure it hurt but he just bit the bullet and endured the pain. Treatment recommendations for this patient: none. The only thing to do is extract teeth as they hurt otherwise leave them alone.
I felt helpless, like there wasn't anything I could really do. With everything else going on in his body teeth became unimportant, yet the way they look probably made him feel worse about himself. People teeth are important, you don't realize it until you don't have them.


  1. jenni that sounds so bad. you are so sweet and a great hygenist! i went to the dentist the other day and thought of you. i miss my friend!

  2. Jenni, I think that is gross, but I wish I were home so you could tell me another story. I don't care what. It can be about your 2nd pair of leg warmers. I just think the weather shouldn't keep us apart. OK?


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