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Posts Tagged ‘hips and teeth’

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This sometimes feels like a medical diary created especially to form a deadly boring buzz in the Blog-us-Fear. But lately the medical world crashes into my real world and takes over. The last encounter actually has begun to interest me (if it doesn’t kill me first). I am hoping it will interest you too.

As you may know, I had total hip replacement surgery in July of 2021. Everything went perfectly and the hip is like new. Well, it is new…. not just like new.

Hips and teeth do not seem to have any connection but this story began in early September after the hip replacement. It all began with tooth pain…. like sensitivity to cold and pressure.

Now think about this. At the close of hip surgery I was handed a sheet of instructions to give to my dentist and told that I will have to take antibiotics for life before having any dental work done, including simple things like cleaning. Evidently infections in the mouth will travel directly to an implant (in this case, the artificial hip) and that will wreak havoc on the entire body.

The story began in early September (just two months from my hip surgery) when I felt an odd little pain in a lower left tooth. It did not seem crucial so I waited a few days. On September 8, 2021 I visited the hip surgeon for a last follow-up meeting and had no pain at that time either.

But on September 9, 2021 a real sensitivity to cold and pressure returned and I knew there was something wrong. “Probably just a cavity,” I thought so I called the dentist. The receptionist put me on hold while the dentist checked my records and when she returned she said, “The doctor says he sees nothing wrong in your chart. Please begin brushing with a sensitivity toothpaste for a week and then call again if the pain persists.” I was amazed that the new toothpaste worked after a week and I didn’t call back. However the pain returned off and on so the dentist finally decided to take Xrays and to look at the tooth for me. The results of the Xrays showed nothing, nor did a “look-see” show anything. “Stay on the sensitivity toothpaste,” was the admonition, and do not rinse.” And so it went. Until January 2022.

For two days early January 2022 I suffered intense pain with no added stimulation. Then the pain went into swelling to create the face of a ghoul! Though I tried to be brave and use my sensitivity toothpaste correctly, I called. And I got a rapidly arranged appointment with the dentist for more Xrays since evidently a swollen face is good enough reason to be concerned. On January 6, 2022 I was finally diagnosed with an abscess, given a high dose of antibiotics, and referred to an Oral Surgeon. On January 7, 2022 the surgeon removed the tooth. There was an unmistakable urgency to get all this done.

And there you have it….. the evolving story of a tooth that was basically ignored and a dentist who forgot about my hip surgery and the dangers of infection travelling to that site and the possibility of sepsis and all sorts of potential side effects like death.

Should the dentist have started me on antibiotics “just in case” as a precautionary measure? How dangerous was it to my life and limbs to ignore a possible infection reported just two months post hip surgery? How dangerous was it to let this go from September 2021 to January 2022?

It is a happier day today since the swollen face is looking a little better. I am on heavy duty antibiotics for a total of 6 days. Hopefully none of this infection will move around to attack vulnerable areas.

“Such is life” and modern medicine!

Lemme know what you think.

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