A 20-year-old man with a case of nasal tooth sought medical help thinking he had lung disease, said Hsieh Kuo-pin (謝國斌), a doctor at Yuan’s Hospital in Kaohsiung.
According to a report published yesterday by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, the man said that he coughed up blood multiple times when he cleared his throat. Worried that he had some sort of lung disease, he consulted a doctor.
However, multiple examinations by the hospital’s pulmonology department found that his lungs were healthy, Hsieh was quoted as saying in the article.
The man was transferred to the hospital’s ear, nose and throat department, which Hsieh heads.
Hsieh arranged for the man to undergo a nasal endoscopy, and a wisdom tooth was found lodged in the bottom of his left nasal cavity.
The tooth had punctured blood vessels, which caused the man to cough up blood, Hsieh said, adding that the tooth was removed at the hospital.
Hsieh said the man’s condition was rare — with about 0.1 percent to 1 percent of people being diagnosed with the condition — but not lethal.
While the condition could be left alone, the presence of the tooth in the nasal cavity would rupture blood vessels and cause phlegm or spit to become laced with blood.
Lin Yao-hsiang (林曜祥), a doctor at the Veteran’s General Hospital’s Kaohsiung branch said he had seen the condition before, but the patients had rarely complained of coughing up blood.
Lee Yan-lung (李彥龍), a resident physician at Kaohsiung’s Datong Hospital, said that despite the false alarm, the man’s decision to seek medical help was correct.
Certain late-stage tuberculosis patients and lung cancer patients might develop symptoms of coughing up blood-laced phlegm or spit due to the tumor spreading to the bronchitis, Lee said in the article, as he urged the public to seek medical help should they develop similar symptoms.
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