Add specialist number three to Ada-the-angel’s list of doctors at Duke Medicine.
Ok, well, this one isn’t really a specialist like the allergist or gastroenterologist.
But the girls each had their first dentist appoinments this week. Azita has had no issues and turned four, so we took her, and she did marvelously. She loved it. They loved her. Question and question and question about what they were doing to her teeth, only perforated by questions about when she would be receiving her new toothbrush.
Ada. Ada has had some tooth chipping and decaying for several months now. The front two were decaying quickly, and I’ve been making an effort to brush them well and use little flossers, more than I did with Azita, since we realized her enamel seems quite weak. Weak enamel and issues with teeth often come in people with celiac disease, at the very least, anecdotally.
The front two looked bad, but still didn’t prepare me for the dentist’s assessments. The wants to put two stainless steel crowns and about 8 fillings in. She says there are extensive cavities in each of her teeth and that brushing them meticulously from this point on won’t prevent them from getting worse– which was my hope.
She will have to be put under at the hospital for this amount of work.
We spoke about what metals are in the stainless steel crowns, including nickel and aluminum, and our concerns in putting these substances in the mouth of a child whose immune system seems to be in constant overdrive. Celiac disease in as autoimmune disorder, after all, and Ada does seem to react to some chemical smells or pollens, as do I.
The dentist here gave me the name and a referral to Duke Pediatric Dentistry and suggested I get their opinion because of our concerns with the allergies, crowns and putting her under before the age of 2.
We will be going on Tuesday, bright and early, to be there at 8 a.m. But it was that, or several months away, and there seems to be a sense of urgency with this.
Honestly, my main fear, is Ada being in more pain. We speculated that the over-the-top throwing up from since before the teeth were in until a few months ago may have weakened the enamel. She has had enough pain in her 20 months. If she starts crying or seeming that the cavities hurt, my gut reaction will be to get all the dental work done. We have to do something, we are just trying to find the least invasive way to go.
One dentist’s website, out of Texas, says he feels that stainless steel crowns are often unnecessary, cruel and antiquated. But that is his opinion and I have no idea other than from him saying it, why that is. He did say that adult teeth grow in crooked more often under crowns.
There was some talk about nursing at night and bottle mouth, and I cited a study listed at the end of this article for the dentist, in which the researchers soaked teeth in breastmilk for 6 months and there was no decay, thus breastmilk in non-carieagenic. The big caveat is, however, that they soaked teeth with cracker crumbs in it in breastmilk and there was quite a bit of decay.
So night time nursing does not cause the caries or cavities, but you must make sure the teeth are clean before you put them down to sleep.
The dentist kind of shrugged and said, “well sugar is sugar.” That study kind of contradicts that, and I’ll be mailing her a copy of it, but still she was pretty nice about it. The more we talked the more I think she could plainly see I wasn’t just negligent about the teeth. When she found out about how strict Ada’s diet is, she started to realize this kid has some special issues.
And then when she looked at Azita’s absolutely sparkling little teeth (which I wasn’t even sure they would be, we aren’t perfect, but she does brush her teeth), I gained even more credibility. She even said, “So you didn’t nurse this one?”, possibly showing her bias that she thinks the decay is caused by night nursing and I reaffirmed that I indeed had nursed them both the same way, how ever many times at night they wanted to until at least the age of 2.
I feel that the Duke office will probably have the same opinion, so I called some holistic/biological dentists to get their advice. One gave me the brand name of a plastic resin crown which has no metals in it. She said it costs more and is slightly less durable but it is the non-metal/non-chemical/crazy-crunchy-momma way to go. Well she didn’t say it in those *exact* words.