While most of us love a good horror story, in the world of dentistry, sometimes the truth is more frightening than any Hollywood flick! Curl up and dig in to 10 of the creepiest dental ailments you have ever heard of:
- Amelogenesis Imperfecta: Tooth Enamel Disease
Amelogenesis Imperfecta is a congenital disease. Causing small teeth with very thin tooth enamel, a discolored smile is the tip of the iceberg here. These tiny chompers often suffer from painful sensitivity and lots of breakage. Diagnosed by your dentist, treatments are available for every level of severity.
Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center
- Hyperdontia: Extra Teeth
This rare condition affects a very small percentage of children. Sometimes tied to a genetic disorder, but can also occur for unknown reasons, a child develops extra teeth hidden in their gums. With extraction often the best course of action, left unattended these extra teeth can prevent or delay the eruption of permanent teeth and wreak havoc on the child’s bite. Yes, even those suffering from hyperdontia should still brush and floss twice a day!
- Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome (PLS): Premature Tooth Loss
By the age of five, kids with PLS usually have many loose primary teeth. This can become a severe issue without regular dental care. But what’s the cause? The root of the problem stems from a missing enzyme causing a connective tissue issue. As skin infections are also common with PLS, routine care requires a team of specialists; usually including pediatricians, surgeons, dermatologists, among of course, dentists, periodontist and prosthodontists.
What’s even more frightening is the possibility of losing all permanent teeth… as a teenager! Such is so, as teens often choose to have any remaining teeth removed and wear dentures.
Source: National Organization for Rare Disorders
- Talon Cusps: Claw-Like Teeth
Just as it sounds, these abnormal tooth sprouts look like the shape of an eagle’s talon at the back of a child’s tooth. If left to fester, potential problems include crowding, gum irritation, bad bite, and of course the accumulation of plaque.
Dare not scrape these off! Talon cusps require common treatment from your dentist, such as grinding down or a root canal.
Source: Journal of the Canadian Dental Association
- Geminated Teeth: Mega Tooth
This is as if the tooth root has had twins. This anomaly manifests itself when two teeth develop from a single tooth bud. Turning into an oversized and disfigured tooth, your dentist will be on the lookout for the trouble it’s causing to nearby teeth.
Your dentist will be on the lookout for a bad bite, tooth decay in the area and overcrowding of neighboring teeth. Depending on size, it’s possible the tooth could cause little impact. However, most cases need extraction or other procedures to bring it down to normal size. Beware! These teeth aren’t easily flossed so using anti-bacterial mouthwash is advised.
Source: National Institute of Health
- Tonsilloliths: Tonsil Debris
Ever heard of tonsil stones? When this buildup of bacteria and debris gets trapped in and around your tonsils it’s no joke. Especially considering they range in size from a grain of rice to that of a large grape!
What causes this troublesome throat rubble? Chronic tonsillitis and poor dental hygiene are the usual culprits. While not always visible, if they’re lurking you’ll likely smell it first! Bad breath, sore throat, and trouble swallowing as the most reported symptoms. Tonsils are delicate, and removing the stones requires the expert hand of a true professional.
Source: Live Scicence
- Black Hairy Tongue: Like. It. Sounds…
Harmless as it may be, this fearsome condition will attract unwanted attention. If not from looks, the radiating smell will turn heads… and your stomach with a metallic taste. Caused by the building up of dead skin cells, this creepy accumulation does offer some relief in how it’s treated. Oral hygiene. Brush your tongue or using a tongue scraper daily should clear things up. If it persists, visit your dentist as reoccurrence risk runs high.
- Salivary Gland Stones: Clogged Salivary Glands
Think kidney stones in your mouth. They’re painful and can cause neck swelling. As saliva is full of calcium, these startling stones store up in sucking on sour candy to get the saliva juices flowing. Caution! Stones can grow large enough for surgical removal.
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
- The Disgusting Truth About Your Toothbrush: dun dun dun!
Your toothbrush is a bacteria magnet. The dirty little secret it hides is really more like 10 million bacteria— including E. coli and Staph. Truly a terrifying thought! Here are some empowering tips to keeping your brush as clean as possible:
- Replace your toothbrush after 3 months. Sooner if the bristles become frayed and always after the flu or a cold.
- Not all toothpaste is created equal. Look for ones with triclosan or copolymer to help kill mouth bacteria.
- Rinse the bristles after every use. Soaking in antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide also helps.
- In this case, sharing is not caring. Each brush is factory built for one mouth. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
- Air dry between uses and don’t let toothbrush heads touch. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
- Flush with the toilet seat down. We smell molecules of whatever it is giving off the stench. Remember E. coli…
Source: Huffington Post
- Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease: Virus
Imagine having sores in your mouth, on your hands, feet, and even your legs. A very unpleasant condition, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. So, halt the spread with frequent hand washing, and while infected, keep the kisses under wraps.
This nasty virus is most common among children under 10 but adults can contract it as well. With symptoms lasting about a week, see a physician if the sore mouth and throat prevent drinking.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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