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Mom's teeth

Friday, July 26, 2013

About a month before my mom was placed on hospice, her dental bridge fell out. Mom’s mobility is very limited (she can’t walk the eight steps from her bed to the bathroom – she has to go in a wheelchair; and getting in and out of the wheelchair exhausts her), so she had not been visiting her dentist for the past year or so. When mom and my sister tried to get an emergency appointment, her former dentist refused; and that dentist also refused to accommodate wheelchair access even though handicapped accessibility is required by law (mom can’t go up or down the entry stairs). Mom is very loyal to all her caregivers but at that point she was upset at the lack of help from this dentist. Mom’s doctor arranged an emergency appointment with her own dentist, who did a temporary repair to the dental bridge. The new dentist suggested a more thorough appointment to check on mom’s teeth.

Yesterday my sister accompanied mom to the new (nice!) dentist. Mom needs two abscessed teeth removed, two root canals, and three cavities filled. Now mom’s lack of appetite is making a lot of sense! She only has about half her teeth, and even if her pain meds dull the pain in her mouth, the abscesses MUST be interfering with her ability to eat. I don’t know what the final decision will be – I worry that mom will default to doing nothing thinking she will die before the next dental emergency. Personally I think we should ask mom’s doctor for advice –does the infection from the decaying teeth place a higher risk for her health than going through dental surgery and root canals?

Certainly serves as a good reminder to all of us to brush and floss our teeth! Then again my mom was always meticulous at caring for her own teeth …

Hope you all are doing well and staying on track with your fitness and nutrition goals!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I hate Dr.'s who act that way! Some have no empathy he ever become one is beyond me!! He shouldn't be able to get away with what he did with your Mom! Especially no wheel chair access!
    I hope the new dentist treats her right and has some good advice for you! Hope you Mom feels better soon-dental pain is no fun! emoticon
    1758 days ago
  • KAREN608
    Oh the poor dear. Had dental woes, and true, in that much pain you do not want to eat. Maybe some sensidine toothpaste for her to use? I have to use that as my gums receded which causes pain when eating sometimes, also, even will all dental work done.
    1758 days ago
    I had to read twice, I couldn't believe what you were saying about your mother's dentist!!! This is completely incredible. I cannot believe he can get away with it. I really hope you can report him so that hopefully others won't have the same experience and he would accept to treat them.
    I am so sorry for all your poor mom is going through. Indeed, how could anyone have a good appetite with teeth problems like this? I hope the doctor offers good advice.
    1759 days ago
    Very important reminder, Alison. Thank you. I hope your mother gets some sensible advice about whether to go ahead with the root canals etc. or simply treat the abscesses and remove the affected teeth. Your mother certainly doesn't need this added problem at this stage. It will be great if having this work done allows your mother to enjoy her food again.

    How awful that her regular dentist wouldn't take whatever steps were necessary to treat her. Are you planning to report him/her?

    1761 days ago
    Although it is a reminder to brush and floss, even more important is the amount of sugar in peoples diets and the frequency they eat it. No amount of brushing and flossing will make up for a high sugar diet.
    1762 days ago
    So glad you and your sister are helping pursue this - hope she gets some good dental care, and that helps her appetite and maybe even more!
    1762 days ago
    What a time your mother has had! I hope that her physician will be able to give some good medical advice at this point! You are right...we always hear that the state of our mouth is directly tied to our overall health.

    1762 days ago
  • DR1939
    Perhaps you should call the dental association in your state. This dentist should not be allowed to get away with this. Please talk to her physician and get a recommendation. emoticon
    1762 days ago
    Wow, that surely is something. Maybe the rotten dentists were thinking "she is old anyway so who cares." I say that because I have had neurologists (who were fired) who discounted my progress with exercise, nutrition, etc., by saying something like "well, you illness is incurable; sit around til you die." I didn't and haven't. Your mom deserves compassionate care and I am glad you found a nice dentist. emoticon God bless you both.
    Love, Chelsea emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1762 days ago
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