PHOENIX — Dentists find some strange things in the mouths of their patients.
While most of us brush, floss and use mouthwash before visiting a dentist, a new survey shows some people don’t and perhaps haven’t for a long time. According to KPHO, Dr. Greg Pifer with Mobile Dentistry of Arizona admits he was taken aback after taking an X-ray of a World War II veteran’s mouth. He found what appeared to be buckshot.
“It was above his maxillary teeth,” Pifer said. “He didn’t quite remember what it would be but said he was in a couple incidents. He was being shot at and had some shrapnel that had been removed. Apparently they must have missed something.”
A survey of dentists and nurses from the United Kingdom revealed they have found everything from candy wrappers stuck between teeth to a sprouting tomato seed in a denture. “It could happen. I’ve seen different things with dentures,” said Ann Ross with Mobile Dentistry of Arizona. Ross showed us a denture from a patient that hadn’t been removed or cleaned in years. “That’s a lot of black and white mold growing in it. It was a real health hazard,” Ross said.
Dr. Allison House, president of the Arizona Dental Association, said one of her patients made his own tooth. “He couldn’t afford to come to the dentist for a while, so he whittled a tooth out of wood and put it where the tooth would be,” she said.
“I had a patient with a Tweety Bird crown. [He] had a Tweety Bird etched into it. Then there are the bad things you come across, too – poor oral hygiene, cancers,” House continued. “I think sometimes people are embarrassed to come to the dentist, but there’s no reason to be embarrassed. We’ve probably seen it all.”
Dentists warn against do-it-yourself dentistry, saying that not only can it hurt your mouth, but it can end up putting a sizable dent in your wallet.