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.
一位牙醫師三月十三日於台北幫病人看牙齒。

Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者陳慰慈

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)

一名四十多歲女子長期有牙齒酸軟問題,她以為是牙齒敏感,自行使用抗敏感牙膏減輕症狀,沒想到半年後,左臉頰出現腫脹、流鼻血等現象,才到大林慈濟醫院掛急診。檢查後發現是嚴重蛀牙引發蜂窩性組織炎,經治療後才免於病情擴大。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. alleviate v.

減輕;緩和 (jian3 qing1; huan3 he2)

例: The good news alleviated her fears and anxiety.

(好消息緩和她的恐懼與焦慮。)

2. abate v.

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

例: The fearful noise has finally abated.

(可怕的噪音終於減少了。)

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.

(系統初步的問題已經解決了。)


大林慈濟醫院牙科暨口腔顎面外科主任鄭朝鴻說,患者就醫時,臉腫到連眼睛都睜不開,確定是蛀牙引起蜂窩性組織炎。因此先用抗生素控制症狀,再使用引流清創手術方式清除化膿,最後進行牙科治療,移除牙根產生病變的位置。

鄭朝鴻表示,一般人不易分別蛀牙或敏感性牙齒造成的酸軟問題,尤其是牙齒鄰接面初期蛀牙必須定期給牙醫檢查才能發現。必要時,還須照咬合X光片才能確定,前述的女病患因為沒定期到牙科追蹤檢查,造成鄰接面小蛀牙演變成大蛀牙,導致蜂窩性組織炎。

(自由時報記者謝銀仲)

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