teeth dead….

I haven’t talked about health or clinical or stories lately. Part of that is because I am a little worried about being confidential enough. Anther, that I have had a really bad clinical this quarter and it brought me down–the site was awesome, the instructor was crazy. AND Another part is that I think I want to put together an ever-evolving health website and am hoping that my dad might be able to help edit a bit.

However, I want to write about one thing that was a clear nursing school experience for me. Something that I had NO IdEA about before school. Its teeth.

Teeth can impact your health in BIG HUGE ways. Just think–your gums are extremely vascular, bleed easily and any infection can go right into the blood stream and straight to your heart.

If someone is severely immunocompromised or has heart issues (especially valve issues–bacteria love to colonize heart valves), doctors recommend going on antibiotics prior and after any dental work. Let me just give an example of clinical the other day.

I had a patient (P) who had no urine output (ie full dialysis) and the dialysis port became infected so P had a temporary central line dialysis port put in. However, to put in a new permanent graft P needed to have open heart surgery because of a heart issue. BUT P had an infected tooth and the chances of sepsis and such were too high because of this so P couldn’t have the surgery. P was also low income so could not afford to have the tooth pulled. Doctors and Nurses were scrambling to find a dentist to pull the tooth under medicare but I far as I know–didn’t have any luck. The result– I don’t know, I went home. Unless P can get the tooth pulled and go on antibiotics for awhile…fucking sucks to be so screwed by a tooth.

Anyway–keep your teeth in good order. But who am I to talk–I don’t have dental insurance.


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