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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 they 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.

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 what it does to my stomach, but I had no choice.

When I went into 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!

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 in 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 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…

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    9 months ago

    Getting wisdom teeth out is always a toughie. I got all four out when I was in high school before my diagnosis and I too was awake for the procedure. I literally could feel them take out my teeth! But I was on some intense pain killers and was able to recover rather quickly.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • CJ4460
    1 year ago

    40 years of steroids and at 56 had to have all my teeth pulled. Have dentures now, at least no more teeth pain. Brushed and flossed multiple times a day but still my teeth decayed.
    No I have osteoporosis and osteopenia. Need drugs to help control Crohn’s but the side effects have reared their ugly side. And I still live in constant pain. Doesn’t seem fair but, I wake up with a smile each day and tell myself it could be worse. It seems to work and I refuse to let this Disease rule my life. 46 years of Crohn’s and still going…..

  • Pam.Kingsland moderator
    1 year ago

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a long and rough journey and I really admire your positive outlook on each new day. The best we can do is cherish the good days and It’s so powerful to have a reminder like that everyday! -Pam (inflammatoryBowelDisease team member)

  • newhoneybuns
    2 years ago

    Indeed after 22 years of Prednisone (steroids) I finally had to get all my teeth pulled out because the decay was so bad I kinda looked like a drug addict! So I went for my surgery on Nov. 25, 2016 I was in pain for about a week then it was a complete relief to have no teeth and no more pain coming from that! Now waiting for my dentures, I never imagined my life this way but now at 38 years old and been sick for 22 years I don’t remember what it feels like to be normal, or a day without pain. At least the teeth aren’t hurting anymore but the stomach pain didn’t get any better, now I am on Humira once a week and have been for the past 10 years or so, and still I have pain everyday! I hope they will find something to help more but my GI isn’t really much of a talker lol When I go to a visit it takes no more than 5 minutes to be done 🙁 Sometimes I feel like my doctors are stupid to leave me in such pain but what can I do? Nothing! Endure and learn how to live with pain! Good Luck to you! <3

  • Paul Richman author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for reading, and commenting. Oh wow, all your teeth out by 38? It is so glad to see that you are in high spirits! I agree with you about the doctors! The only people who know about how you feels yourself! I thank you for your good wishes, and wish you luck as well. Thank you for the positive spin on life!

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