Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grossness to the Max

I like gross stuff. As odd as that sounds, it's true. It helps since I work inside people's mouths all day. And let me tell you, there are some gross mouths out there.

I love to hear gross stories from friends who work in the health field. I have a pretty strong stomach, I don't really get queasy at the sight or sound of things. Sometimes I'm a little bothered by gross smells, but it has to be really bad. Today I encountered the really bad kind.

Sometimes, bad breath is an indicator of a problem much larger than just not brushing your teeth after eating Funyuns. Periodontal Disease (aka gum disease) is one cause of bad breath. If a person's bad breath is caused by gum disease, it is a very distinct smell. Unfortunately, I can smell that odor and know the problem without even looking in a person's mouth.

Today I had the pleasure of assisting a man with a huge amount of oral challenges, to put it nicely. I won't bore you with all the details, especially since you might not like gross stuff as much as I do, but essentially his mouth is in horrible shape because of extreme neglect and smoking.

I was recementing this man's permanent bridge over two implants with temporary cement. His bridge needed to be cleaned. Cleaning something like this bridge that is covered in plaque, calculus, and bacteria usually releases the smell. Blowing air in the patients mouth also gives you a good whiff. I had to do both of these things for this man.

I had to leave the room quite a few times just to get some fresh air. I literally gagged a couple of times. The rest of the morning I was ready to run to the bathroom at a moments notice, expecting to see my Kashi cereal for a second time today.

It was really that bad.

Ugh. I have to stop thinking about it, I'm getting nauseated again.

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