Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trying to Save Teeth

Over the last few years, the official diagnosis on Secora's chart has rotated between "sensory processing disorder" or "sensory integration disorder" or "skin sensation disturbance" or "feeding problems" or "nutritional problems" or "eating disorder" (I hated that one...that showed up on her chart when she was 10 months old).  They're all really just different names for the same problem and the specific wording/diagnostic code depends on what search term the doc types into the computer that day.   No matter the name, the medical concerns aren't always quite as simple as just getting her to gain weight.

Lately, it's her teeth.  She's seen a dentist every 6 months since she was a year old.  We have a great pediatric dentist we've seen for years that's known as the best pedi dentist in our town.  Every dental visit, I sit and cringe waiting for him to tell me she has cavities.  I figured they were coming because her diet sucks.  I also had to hold her down for a simple exam, so I knew she couldn't sit through a filling.   But every visit, she's gotten a good report.

At the end of September, she had two spots that didn't yet need fillings, but we needed to watch.  I stepped up the flossing in an effort to head off a problem.  Then, right around Christmas, it seemed like her teeth started to all just rot away.  I could literally see chunks of tooth missing all of a sudden.  I frantically called the dentist and took her in for an exam and the news was just as bad as I'd expected.  At least half of her teeth are so rotted they will need to be capped.  A few are so bad they may need to be pulled and have spacers put in.  He kept checking the chart for the date of her last exam because even he was shocked they had all decayed so badly so quickly.  She DID cooperate with the exam wonderfully this time around, but was clearly barely holding back her panic, so she still can't sit through a single filling, much less repeated visits for such extensive work.  There's also a decent chance she'll regress on eating again anytime work is done.  So it was decided to schedule her for a trip to the hospital where it can all be done at one time under general anesthesia.  It takes a few weeks to get that scheduled, so right now we're looking at 10 caps, but there are a few other suspect areas that I'm betting will need work by the time we get there.

The dentist thinks her teeth deteriorated so quickly due to a combination of her low vitamin D and her pediasure intake.  He was very clear that if she needs pediasure she has to take it, but also said it's pretty awful for teeth.  She had already started extra vitamin D supplementation and I'm pretty much brushing her teeth every time she eats anything now in an effort to save the rest of the teeth.

Feeding problems......the gift that keeps on giving.  

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