Tooth Decay with Crohn's

I have been doing quite well with my Crohn’s. No real flare-ups, and I was starting to have a real good feeling that the bad luck was behind me. I visited the dentist a few weeks ago, and I could tell that he was puzzled after he examined me.

When I asked, “What’s the matter?” He had told me that my wisdom teeth, although not impacted, were starting to decay. Decay?

Why would my teeth decay?

I take care of my teeth as well as anybody else!
He went on to tell me that the eight years of steroid use and the three weeks on the life support brought decay to my mouth.

It was just coming to the surface during the visit. He said that the three weeks that I could not brush my teeth because of the ventilator really played a role in the decaying of these teeth.

Concerns around infection with Crohn's

My dentist was concerned that if I did not get these wisdom teeth out soon, they would cause a bad infection. I was already immuno-compromised because of the Humira and the Azathioprine, so he did not want to take any chances.

Before I could even schedule a consult with an oral surgeon, I had to ask my gastroenterologist if it was a feasible procedure for me to get done.

My GI was happy that I asked him because he contacted the oral surgeon personally to review my profile. They both decided that a dose of oral antibiotics a few days prior to the surgery would help with the prevention of any infection. I personally don’t like antibiotics because of what it does to my stomach, but I had no choice.

Issues with veins and anesthesia as an effect of Crohn's

When I went in to get my four wisdom teeth out, they were going to give me IV medication to put me to sleep. Well, there were two problems with that. They had trouble getting an IV into my arm.

Over years and years of blood work, and IV’s, I don’t have great veins. After the seventh try, they got one to stay in my hand! OUCH!

When they went to give me the “twilight” medicine, they couldn’t get me to even fade out. Years and years of being put under made my body build a strong resilience to anesthesia. The next best thing was to Novocain me a lot in my mouth. I was awake during the whole procedure!

A painful recovery process

It’s weird because during the recovery process after my eleven stomach surgeries, I barely complained about the pain. Don’t you know that the wisdom teeth surgery has been the most painful recovery out of any surgery I have had? Who would have thought!

Now on day three of my recovery, I am doing a bit better. I am glad that I got them out because the chance of infection would have grown with every passing day.

I am still taking antibiotics to help fight off any infections that might try to sneak in. Nothing is simple when it comes to Crohn’s. Most people would just set up the surgery and go with it.

I had to wait for the approval and have special instructions, just to get them taken out. It’s best to be safe than sorry. I know that way too well. Until next time...

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