Our local ABC affiliate ran an investigative story on TV today that made me think I was in the middle of a big CE lecture with blown-up pink on the edges and all white and brown in the centers. Dental closeups! Yeah, I should probably put a porn-type filter on my email box when those “identify this lesion” photos pop up because they are just so gross to look at when I’m not in my Dental Frame Of Mind.
I saw three severely decayed mouths in super-close detail on local television, and felt sorry for everyone eating lunch during their noon hour that caught the show, too.
The gist is that these men were serving in Iraq almost ten years ago and now all their teeth are rotting and breaking and hurting and the VA won’t pay to get them fixed up.
As much as you want to feel bad for these guys, and I do, there’s a big part of me wondering what questions aren’t being asked. They’ve never done meth, they don’t complain about severe dry mouth. That’s about all the evidence I heard. What about medications that may be causing an acid imbalance in their saliva? What are their soda habits? How well did they keep up with their dental care the first five years since Iraq?
The station will be airing another segment tonight so I may post it online tomorrow that may answer some of these questions and get to the bottom of this Medical Mystery and our pathetic excuse of a government that lets this happen to innocent people (not necessarily my view, but possibly the witch that this investigative report is trying to hunt down).
I’d love to know your theories too, post them here, maybe we can all figure this out together with our Holmesian powers of deduction and ultimately solve this conundrum for these unfortunate men.
Here’s the second segment of this story (Go Dr. Beadle!) where stress is cited as a major factor in causing tooth loss. I guess it could, in a roundabout way. You’ll find the transcript of this story here, for those of you who aren’t in the mood for a movie.