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A WARNING ABOUT PAIN MEDICATIONS< What your doctor won't tell you

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Message Ginger McClemons
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Recently, after a trip to my dentist, I discovered that it was going to cost me $7000 to repair the damage to my teeth, damage done by repeated use of doctor ordered pain medications for a debilitating back injury. Little did I know that in taking this medication I was destroying my teeth. It so happens that a well known pain medication, one of many that is frequently prescribed by doctors, actually rots the tooth, or perhaps I should say teeth.

My doctor was either ignorant of this fact or just didn't care to tell me. At one office visit I asked him if the pain meds he was prescribing me could be having an adverse effect on my teeth and he said he'd never heard of it happening. Considering the fact that this doctor is a Pain Management Specialist it surprised me that he was ignorant of something that he should have been was aware of. No, I had to find out from my dentist and, of course, I can't afford to get the $7000 worth of damage repaired. 

One, and this is just one of the many that cause such damage, is Morphine. Morphine is one of the most widely prescribed pain meds on the market and yet, nowhere on it's extensive list of side effects does it say anything about tooth damage.  Nor, will your doctor tell you about it. People need to be informed by their Medical Professional. These are the people in charge of your health. Yet, when they neglect to tell you about the possible complications of medications they are prescribing for you, then they become negligent in their duty to protect you. 

We, as consumers, should have the choice, and should be enlightened by our health care professionals. Not only this, but the pharmaceutical companies must be forced to admit to all of the potential hazards of the medications they put on the market.

Being disabled myself I must comply with the rules of Medicaid/Medicare which states that you may only have two teeth per year pulled or filled. However, when a tooth breaks off at the gum line, as mine have started doing, you are out of luck as they will not pay for a surgical removal. This opens up another can of worms. I feel that the mouth and the care of your teeth should be of major importance. An abscess can actually cause you to have a heart attack. Yet, as of now, teeth are not important enough to get any real care. Without the ability to properly chew your food you end up with digestive problems, among other things.
Something needs to change regarding this rule. As it stands now, I can't even get false teeth until I have had all the bad teeth removed and can't afford to get them repaired or pulled.

Beware of your doctor. If he prescribes a pain medication for you to use for a prolonged period ask him what affect it will have on your teeth (and possibly bones). If he can't tell you, you should consider getting another doctor. Still, ask your dentist. You're more likely to get a more truthful answer.


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Recently I helped work on a book of fiction that has finally been published. It is called "The Census". It can be found on Amazon by doing a search for The Census by Dane Swank. The author, Dane Swank, has woven a story that revolves around (more...)
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