At work today this 18 year old kid comes in and I seat him and ask what was wrong (Dr. M. was finishing up with another patient). I went through a few questions while I got the room ready, and then I asked to take a look. He told me he had broken a tooth and it "kinda hurt".

No shit.

His chart had "rampant decay" written in it, but I say "total rot mouth". He had big black holes in every single tooth. I couldn't believe it. I've seen 90 year olds with better teeth; in fact, I've never seen decay like that at all, and he's so YOUNG!

We're doing two root canals and two fillings on him, but he needs so much more than that. I asked Doctor M. later what disease would cause that to happen to someone that young.

"Neglect", he told me, and I was floored. "How could any parent let their child go around like that?", and he he shrugged and told me "They couldn't afford routine dental care." And the sad thing is, he could have had all his problems taken care of when he was in school for almost free, because the town pays for the kids who can't afford dental work and are in the public school system. They'd have gotten about 80% off of all of their dental work. ooooo, that burns me up! This kid is going to go his whole life without healthy teeth, and all because his parents were too stupid to do anything about it. I keep getting choked up thinking about it.