An 18-year-old male student living in Taipei (Taiwan) burst into tears when he was diagnosed with oral cancer 2 months after having his wisdom teeth removed.
According to him, he started teething number 8 or wisdom teeth about a year ago. At first it just felt a little itchy and uncomfortable when the tooth came in. Until almost 3 months ago, his right jaw was very sore, accompanied by a headache, a constant fever that even made it difficult for him to swallow.
After more than 2 weeks of suffering, he decided to go to the dental clinic for a checkup. The X-ray showed that the 8th tooth in the lower right jaw shifted more than 40 degrees, pressing on the 7th tooth next to it, causing the jaw to shift and become infected. After receiving professional advice, he decided to have his tooth extracted and the minor surgery was a success.
However, 2 months later, the pain in the right tooth, jaw, and right half of the head suddenly returned, even worse than when the tooth was not extracted. A few days later, his entire oral cavity was sore, he was constantly drooling, smelled bad, and had a high fever at night. After buying medicine for himself but not feeling any better, he hurriedly took a bus to Taipei Hospital.
Xia Yiran, head of the Odonto-Stomatology Department, was also shocked when she checked the young man’s condition. He looks at her with angry and sad eyes, saying that he has oral cancer. In the early stages, the tumor is still localized in the oral cavity, has not metastasized in the area and is distant, so it can be treated effectively with surgery.
The reason is 3 bad habits that are common in young people
Tracing history shows that the cause of oral cancer in male students are 3 bad habits in caring for teeth, which are very common in young people.
The first is lack of knowledge, little interest in dental and oral health care. For young people, there is an invisible disease called “dental phobia”. If they can’t stand the pain or suffer injuries, chipped teeth, need to have teeth extracted, orthodontics… then they definitely don’t want to set foot in the dentist’s office.
Meanwhile, knowledge of dentistry is minimal, proper daily oral hygiene is uncertain. Very few people develop the habit of having regular dental check-ups, actively going to the dentist, also mainly doing cosmetic services such as porcelain plating, whitening…
The second is subjective when wisdom teeth erupt. Dean Xia Yiran said that in fact, up to 90% of wisdom teeth cases need to be extracted. Even with straight teeth, there can be problems with inflammation or discomfort, affecting the ability to chew and swallow, the shape of the teeth, the bite or shape of the face, the temporomandibular joints.
But like most other young people, this young man thinks that pain or fever, blisters when wisdom teeth erupt are normal, only need to last a few days. Even when he received instructions to have his teeth extracted, he hesitated forever, if it could be extended, he decided not to have his teeth extracted.
The third mistake is dental care after wisdom tooth extraction. Many people assume that after a tooth extraction is complete, they do not know that the follow-up and cleaning process is also very important.
Even though he had been advised by the doctor, he still didn’t focus on cleaning his oral cavity after tooth extraction, simply stopping the anti-inflammatory medication. In particular, when he found the indentation after tooth extraction had signs of tingling, inflammation, and pain, he was still subjective and did not report it to the doctor. He missed even an appointment for a follow-up examination after a minor operation.
When he went to the hospital, the inflamed tissue had turned into oral cancer, the cancer cells had covered the entire lower right jawbone. According to the head of the department, Xia Yiran, because the patient was very young, an incision was made in the neck to avoid scarring. Then combined with plastic surgery so as not to affect the appearance and avoid recurrence and limit the sequelae.
He also reminded, the best age to remove wisdom teeth is between 16-25 years. Because the wisdom teeth have not yet grown, the roots have not matured, the alveolar bone is still relatively soft, so it is easier to remove. However, it is unavoidable that swelling and pain after tooth extraction will be unavoidable, you must take medication and monitor and re-examine according to the doctor’s prescription.
Sources and photos: ETtoday, Healthline, Aboluowang