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Teeth Decay and G-tubes

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A few weeks ago, Bennett's OT/feeding therapist mentioned to me Bennett is sensitive on his left side of his mouth.   So, needless to say, I began getting concerned that maybe Bennett could have a cavity, which would surely affect his eating issues if he did.  In addition, I have noticed that there are times when Bennett's teeth have seemed a bit yellow, despite that we brush them regularly.

A few weeks ago, I set up a dentist appointment for Bennett to check his teeth.  I shared with Dentist about my concerned over the fact that, until just recently, Bennett did vomit alot (sometimes three times per week) due to complications with Cystic Fibrosis/having a g-tube and recurring issues with C.Diff.

Thankfully, Bennett's visit to the dentist went really well.  (I have no pictures because I spent all my time reassuring him all the strange people and tools were ok.)  But it turns out the dentist had several helpful things to say.

First, she said Bennett has no cavities.  Second, the Dentist gave me some of the best news a mom can hear: "Bennett has beautiful teeth.  Whatever you are doing, keep doing!  You are doing a wonderful job...Kids with G-tubes typically have alot of teeth decay due to reflux and vomiting.  So, the fact that Bennett's teeth look so great is because of you!"

Ah, how wonderful to hear - both because I wanted him to have healthy teeth and because his healthy teeth are especially important because he is so susceptible to tooth decay!

Unfortunately, vomiting can easily wear away the enamel on one's teeth.  So, despite our brushing, if Bennett continues to struggle with vomiting issues (which typically take place during the middle of the night), he will begin to see issues with his teeth.  This is just one more reason why we have to continue to help Bennett manage his eating issues.

As far as the yellowing of Bennett's teeth go, the Dentist said there isn't much we can do.  It may be from vomiting or from the medications he has to take daily (one of his meds, AquaDEKS is particularly bright orange and easily stains).  The hope is this will eventually go away as we will continue to brush regularly and keep his visits to the dentist regularly (they can put on a protective varnish that may help).

Overall, this is just one more small complication we have seen from having Cystic Fibrosis and a G-tube.  Thankfully, however, Bennett's eating/vomiting issues are subsiding.  He hasn't had C.Diff in a long time and he is eating more and more regularly by the day.

He handles brushing his teeth well, which is really great since he struggles with oral aversion.  So, we are very hopeful.  And most wonderful of all, if these teeth get screwed up, he has another set of pearly whites coming in in a few years!

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