Mon, Jun 03, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Cavity mistaken for sensitive teeth takes turn for the worse
牙酸誤當敏感 蛀牙引發大腫臉

A dentist checks a patient’s teeth in Taipei on March 13.

Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Liberty Times

A 40-something woman who had long been suffering from sore teeth assumed that she simply had sensitive teeth and used desensitizing toothpaste to alleviate the pain. She had no inkling that she would have to go to the emergency room at Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital’s Dalin Branch six months later with a swollen left cheek and nosebleeds. The doctor discovered that she had facial cellulitis caused by a serious cavity, which abated after receiving proper treatment.

Cheng Chao-hung, head of the department of dental, oral and maxillofacial surgery at Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital’s Dalin Branch, says that when the patient came in for treatment her face was so swollen that she could not even open her eyes, which led him to make the diagnosis that she was suffering from cellulitis brought on by a cavity. He used antibiotics to control the symptoms first and then performed surgical debridement to remove the infected tissue, lastly administering endodontic therapy to eliminate any further root canal issues.

Most people have difficulties distinguishing soreness caused by cavities from the pain associated with sensitive teeth, but it is especially important to spot cavities during the initial stages, which can only be found by dentists during checkups, Cheng says, adding that sometimes it is necessary to take occlusal x-rays to find dental caries. The female patient mentioned above had small cavities on the surface of her teeth that turned into bigger cavities, eventually causing facial cellulitis, all because she was not in the habit of periodically getting a dental checkup.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)



1. alleviate v.

減輕;緩和 (jian3 qing1; huan3 he2)

例: The good news alleviated her fears and anxiety.


2. abate v.

減少;減弱;減輕 (jian2 shao3; jian3 ruo4; jian3 qing1)

例: The fearful noise has finally abated.


3. initial adj.

初期的;初步的 (chu1 qi2 de5; chu1 bu4 de5)

例: The initial problems we were having with the system have been resolved.





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