Jaw Bone Erosion

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Jaw Bone Erosion-1.jpg

Not only can gums be damaged by jewelry, but the underlying bone as well! A reader of BME sent us the following note and the pictures below:

"So this is what happened with my teeth: I have had a barbell in for about 8 years. About 4 years ago, I upsized to a 2ga barbell. The position was fine, it was just rather heavy and constant rubbing against the gums and bones caused them to erode.
"I knew about 3 years ago that I had something going on, but I chose to ignore it. Then in about the second week in January 2003 my gums behind my teeth hurt and the teeth were also slightly loose, just enough for me to notice and be alarmed. I went in and the dentist said it was bad and I had a huge infection from my receded gums getting bacteria in them.
"The next day I went to the periodontist and he said it was the worst case he has ever seen and wasn't sure he could save my teeth. After taking antibiotics I got the swelling down and they could go and operate. Turns out the bone damage was worse then he thought and when he cleaned it up in there he was able to see though the bottoms of my teeth near their roots where the bone was supposed to be and there was no way to restore all the bone damage. So they yanked out my teeth and stitched up my gums.
"Kinda sucks."

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