Paul Makepeace ;-)

October 17, 2005

Bali bacteria

Posted in: Drivel

It's not often I get to hear "necrotic flesh" in non-Goth conversation.

A few days into the Bali trip pretty much my entire gum line lit up in moderate pain. I suffered some inflammation, discomfort chewing from the pressure on my teeth, and gum bleeding. About two weeks later it was essentially fine with some residual gobs of blood from time to time, if I sucked on my teeth.

Went to the dentist today, Dr Lu, a particularly geek-tolerant chap who went to some length to explain this all to me, and discovered I had a case of acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). What happens is opportunistic bacteria attack when normal dental hygiene is disrupted (I forgot my tooth brush and for some reason didn't ask the 5-star hotel for one for a few days) and a gum infection occurs. The 'necrotizing' bit is effecting localized tissue death, in this case the tips of the gums between the teeth. Dr Lu was literally picking out bits, albeit really tiny bits, of dead flesh. Funnily enough this disease tends to only affect people with good oral hygiene who lapse.

The annoying aspect is that this flesh only partly grows back and I'll be missing a small bit of the triangular tip of protective gum on some teeth. This means I'll have to, after 31 years of not doing so, have to floss. Gah!

Ever a lesson in remembering one's toothbrush on holiday...

PS did you really want to read about all that? :-)

Posted by Paul Makepeace at October 17, 2005 18:04 | TrackBack
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