Nobody loves the dentist. All of the machines in the procedure room are scary, that music they play in the waiting room is incredibly generic, and worst of all you never know if you’re going to be receiving good news or bad. Dentists rarely pull punches, either, and they’ve been known to figure in more than a few hygiene-related horror stories. If you haven’t been flossing, your dentist will know and call you out for it. They’re not like those nice doctors you see on TV – they’re merciless and unyielding.
Of course, dentists don’t have it so easy, either. They’ve got to deal with squirmy kids and patients who never brush their tongues. In fact, dentists have seen some of the most horrific types of matter in their patients’ mouths. You didn’t think living organisms could sprout in someone’s oral cavity? Well, they certainly can and do. The dentists of Reddit have shared their grisly stories, so read on – but maybe keep a bottle of mouthwash handy.
The Secret Cyst-Dweller
“One day a mom came in with her son… They bring the son back who [had] been complaining about his gums hurting extremely bad. Thought it was an infection or really bad sore, and wanted to get it checked.
Inside his mouth was a… disgusting cyst. One of those nasty pulsing ones that you see in an alien movie when the protagonist gets onto the mothership and finds the incubation room.
Anyway, so after some discussion they decide to do the procedure in a semi normal way: numb the kid up, ahem de-inflate the cyst, then remove it. Easy as can be. Sorta.
[So the kid is numbed and prepped] for an incision. [When the cyst is opened], out crawls a larvae thing from this cyst it had been living in.”
Mouths And Bugs Don’t Mix
“[The dentist at my mom’s office] was working on a patient who rarely came to the office, as in, they’d probably see her once every few years.
I’m not even going to go into the details, but a live bug flew out of a socket in her gum, where a tooth had rotted out. A living bug. Why.”
A Gigantic Booger
“I was in dental school doing a hospital rotation. We were asked to do a dental exam on an unconscious man who had been found unconscious while high on heroin. He was going to recover, but was sedated. He was septic with a bacteria commonly found orally, (Strep veridans, perhaps). On exam we saw some very poor quality… dentistry… but there was also a thick white crust covering his extremely dry mouth and tongue.
We debated what it might be, with one guess being a severe Candida overgrowth. We cultured it and found no fungal growth under the microscope. He was brought to the dental clinic for debridement. When he came to our clinic and water was sprayed trying to clean him up, it became clear what it was. He had sinus drainage into his mouth that had dried and he essentially had a quarter inch thick layer of booger covering his mouth and throat.”
Dentures Can Mold, Too
“My dad’s a dentist. He pulled out a patient’s dentures and they were covered in mold. Yep, the patient was wearing moldy dentures… I would assume anybody that takes care of their mouth in such a terrible way takes care of the rest of their body in a similar manner.”
It’s Gonna Blow!
“I dated a dentist. He was telling me about a patient that had an abscess so large that when he lanced it, there was like a volcano eruption of pus coming out of his mouth.”
An Incredibly Clinical Description
“Dental nurse here. We once pulled a bit of old rotting chicken out from under somebody’s implant denture. It smelt like Satan’s fart.”
Digging For Decay
“I had a patient whose insides of his mouth was covered in layers of multicolored calculus. Black, green and red. I had to ultrasonic scale each individual tooth for a good few minutes, unearthing layers upon layers of mineralized crap. The stench was also horrendous.
At that point I wondered if I was a dentist or an archeologist.”
Wrecking Ball Required
“One [patient in dental school] was a 36-year-old female recovering meth addict. Her teeth were so badly decayed and covered in calculus that a ‘calculus bridge’ had formed on the tongue side of the lower anterior teeth, essentially gluing them together. My oral surgery instructors decided that before we pulled all her teeth, I needed to debride them so as to not have pieces of calculus fall into the sockets during extraction and lead to healing issues.
When I signed in with my periodontal faculty to scale and debride her teeth, my faculty member actually told me she was jealous that I got to scrape and blast all of that sh*t off. It was like using a wrecking ball with so much junk coming off those teeth.”
“My mum said her boss found a tomato plant growing under a patients dentures that they never removed for three months…”
Spontaneously Shedding Teeth
“An old depressed man once had so much calculi (is that the English term? The impacted hard-as-f*ck white stuff) that it covered his teeth entirely. Removing that caused two teeth to fall spontaneously because there was no more tissue to hold them.”
Fill In The Blanks
“[I am a] dental assistant. The hygienist once pulled out what looked like a pubic hair from between a patient’s teeth. We just looked at each other and said nothing.”
Another Reason Not To Chew Tobacco
“I always warn patients [to not smoke] after extractions (any surgery actually), explaining the increased risk of dry socket (osteomyelitis). In fact my standard admonition is, ‘If you get dry socket after smoking and return looking for sympathy I’ll hand you a dictionary and you can find it between sh*t and syphilis.’
One day a smoker returned with a dry socket, swearing that he had not smoked as per directions. His significant other backed him up. After numbing him and during the debridement of the socket, I removed a chunk of vegetable matter which he identified as chewing tobacco. Now, my post-op instructions include restricting chew.”
The Black Thing
“Had a patient show up with [a black thing in his mouth]. It didn’t strike me as that gross, but my assistant was dry heaving as we removed it…
The black thing… is an organizing thrombus (essentially a blood clot that keeps growing). The patient had a tooth removed a few days prior, and came back to the clinic because this thing had grown from the tooth socket over a period of four-five days. Completely painless and benign, if a bit unsightly.”