Friday, 3 June 2016

Diabetes & Dental Health

Linzi Grant is a young woman with just two wishes;
1: To be pain free
2: To smile again
Linzi is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, she's also suffered severely with Diabetic Ketone Acidosis otherwise known as DKA.
Although no diagnosis has been made in regards to her dental health there is research that suggests the two can be connected.
Linzi kindly agreed to an interview with me in relation to her conditions so as to raise awareness and maybe those of you reading this would like to help Linzi SMILE again by making a donation to her GoFundMe page (link is supplied below)
What is your name and age?
-my name is Linzi Grant and I'm 19
When did your teeth start to crumble away?
- my teeth started to crumble when I was 14/15 years old
What was your initial reaction?
- my first reaction, well I burst into tears thinking oh my God what's happening, I don't get anymore after my adult teeth
When did you start experiencing painful gum abscesses?
- the pain started when I was 15, each back tooth both top and bottom, left and right all were infected at the same time and the abscesses were severely painful, the dentist took all the nerves out of 3 of them and extracted one back tooth as it wasn't save able
On a scale of 1-10 how painful were there?
- on a scale of 1- 10, I'd have days were I was about an 8/9 whilst still on high painkillers but without any medication or ice packs to numb it, I'd say any number way above 10!
When and why did you have 3 teeth permanently extracted?
- 2016, I've had the last ones taken out now because my dentist was meant to put a filling in them after doing a root canal and cleaning them but she didn't and she left them with a huge hole in draining pus and blood out of them for about a year, (it should've only been 24hrs)
When did you start wearing temporary placements at the front of your mouth and why?
I started wearing temporary dentures February 2016, after calling around different dentist to see who could fund them as I'd of had to go private for emergency dentures and because I sneezed and my tooth fell out.
Since then 2 more front ones have fallen out and now have been put on a temporary plate for me
Why is it that you can only eat soft food?
- I can only eat soft food because;
(1) I have no front teeth to bite with, everything has to be mushed or finely chopped,
(2) I can't eat with my dentures in as it's very painful
(3) when I had the two teeth with massive holes draining pus and blood, I couldn't use them as they were painful so chewing was difficult
How has this affected your diet?
- it's affected my diet as I can't eat anything I'd like to, I practically live off mash potato, ham slices, soup and yogurt, jelly and ice creams, because it's so soft and doesn't hurt
What have the medical professionals diagnosed you with or suggested it could be?
-no one has ever diagnosed me with anything or taken it further enough to do any tests, although it's been requested many many times, I've had people respond to my newspaper articles with what it could be but it hasn't showed up anything,
When were you diagnosed with Diabetic Ketone Acidosis otherwise known as DKA?
I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic in January 2009 at 11 years old.
As a diabetic if your blood sugars go high, you can go into DKA, which happened to me several times throughout the past few years because I had so many infections in my mouth, it made my blood sugars rise and caused me to end up in hospital spending up to nearly a week or two there
What  is DKA?
-DKA is when a diabetics blood sugars go high and it happens when there is a severe lack of insulin which means the body cannot use glucose for energy, and the body starts to break down other body tissue as an alternative energy source. This is where ketones are produced and they are poisonous chemicals which build up and, if left unchecked, will cause the body to become acidic – hence the name 'acidosis'.
It's life threatening to be in DKA as it can be fatal.
What symptoms did you / do you have?
- the symptoms I had were; dizziness; being constantly sick; high blood sugars and when I checked ketones, they were high too; heart racing it's a really horrible feeling
How was a diagnosis made?
-I can confirm I have ketones by testing my blood sugar but when in hospital they checked my acid levels and they were high which is a high indication
What treatment did you / do you receive?
-the treatment is pretty straightforward, a lot of tests are done but I am put on an IV drip straight away which has insulin in one bag and saline in the other as my body needs fluids because I'm dehydrated and insulin to bring the ketones to 0
How has both the above conditions affected your daily life?
- having diabetes affects me everyday!
I have a weaker immune system so I catch everything under the sun just 10 times worse, and up to 8 injections a day can be tough, but teeth falling out left right and centre, now that's a nightmare..
I couldn't think of anything worse
Please explain in detail about the GoFundMe page and please leave a link here?
- I started a gofundme page about a year ago to see if anything would arise from it as I'm just a nursery teacher so I can't afford up to £20,000 worth of implants.
I just don't have that kind of money sitting in my back pocket, but the amount of people so far that have been so generous and lovely has really overwhelmed me
What advice would you give other people in similar situations?
- to people in the same situation, I'd say never give up!
Although it's taken me 5 years.
5 years of going through so much pain and popping so many painkillers, my face always swelled up because pus and blood filled up in my face and mouth and swelled due to reacting.
I've been through a lot  with my teeth and toothache is one of the worst pains I've ever been through, but I know one day someone will be able to help and I will get the smile of my dreams.
Help & Support:
Diabetic Ketone Acidosis (DKA)
Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes & Dental Health
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