Tue, May 08, 2012 - Page 14 News List

High school girl’s toothache caused by brain tumor
高中女牙痛 原來是腦瘤作祟

Fang Wen-kui holds a model of the brain in Chiayi County on April 24.

Photo: Wang Shan-yan, Liberty Times

A 17-year-old high school girl went to the dentist when she had a toothache that would not go away because she thought it was simply a toothache, but they could not find anything wrong with her teeth. Since the pain persisted for an entire month, she eventually went to the hospital, where they found a 4cm tumor in her brain. In March she had it surgically removed and has since recovered. Her doctor reminds people that if they have any abnormal pains, they should see a doctor as soon as possible to find out what is causing the pain.

Wu Chi-shun, a neurologist at Chiayi Christian Hospital, says that the girl showed symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, which is a disorder that usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people over the age of 50. Its symptoms are rarely seen among 17-year-old high school girls. The doctor automatically arranged her hospital stay to have an MRI scan, which was when they found the 4cm-long tumor on her brainstem.

The tumor was wrapped around the trigeminal, facial, auditory vestibulor, and oculomotor nerves, so if they made a wrong move during the surgery, it could have caused the girl to have a crooked mouth or eyes, or even put her in a coma or killed her. Fortunately, after six hours of surgery, the brain tumor was successfully removed and she has recovered from the surgery. On April 23, she and her parents went to thank Fang Wen-kui, the neurosurgeon who operated on her.

Wu says that the trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensation in the face, including the gums, and certain motor functions such as biting, chewing, and swallowing, so when it is touched by something a throbbing sensation is felt, which feels like a toothache and this requires immediate medical attention.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)


1. abnormal adj.

異常的 (yi4 chang2 de5)

例: Steve was not sure what to do in such abnormal circumstances.


2. coma n.

昏迷 (hun1 mi2)

例: Comas usually last several days to several weeks.


3. gums n.

牙齦 (ya2 yin2)

例: You should see a dentist. Your gums bleed every time you eat.







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