Thursday, 14 June 2012
A regular patient about the same age as me (just the right side of 50) came in for his regular appointment a few months ago. He had some evidence of erosion. On chatting, I asked if he'd had any heartburn or reflux symptoms - there was no mention in the medical history. He said he'd had some heartburn. I asked him if he had been to the doctor about it. He replied no.
I suggested it might be a good idea, not only from a dental perspective but I also mentioned Barrett's Syndrome and the attendant risks for males of a certain age with this condition. Nothing too heavy and we chatted on.
Fast forward three months. The patient is back for his regular 3/12 hygienist visit.
‘Did you talk to your doctor at all since I last saw you?'
‘Yes' He said. ‘Had an endoscopy and they found an oesophageal tear'. He's being treated with omeprazole and is due to be reviewed soon. No repeat of any GORD symptoms since starting the omeprazole. So, great news for his teeth and general health.
Just goes to emphasise how important it is to keep ones ears open and listen to patients and what they tell us and act on it. It also reinforces how important the oral/systemic links are.