the dentistry of vampirism

the simpsons, (c) foxVampirism has profound effects on the dentition and supporting tissues of the undead.

The exaggerated protrusion of the maxillary canines requisite for the taking of a blood meal deviates from the normal average of 17 mm to upwards of 24 mm. As a result of the increased crown length, vampire "fangs" are prone to fracture, often leading to pulpal exposure and subsequent endodontic treatment (root canal). Furthermore, increased crown length produces an interference to normal canine guidance when undergoing a lateral excursion of the mandible. This essentially prevents the jaw from moving to the side unless opened, and acts as a great hindrance to the normal chewing loop. An additional consideration is that during the transformation into an evil creature, a vampire's canines extend apically in an attempt to maintain an ideal crown/root ratio. This often leads to a puncture of the maxillary sinus, which could produce further complications. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be especially disastrous in the mouth of bloodsucker.

The frequent consumption of blood has unique effects on a vampire's periodontal and systemic health. Studies have shown that the frequent consumption of blood can offer the benefit of a basic pH, inhibiting caries (tooth decay) in that regard. However, since vampires frequently have poor oral hygiene habits, tooth decay is still a concern. This leads to an increased prevalence of gingivitis and periodontal disease in this demographic. These creatures also present with hyperalbuminemia and increased iron levels due to their diet. Increased diligence should be given to infection control when treating the followers of Dracula, as nearly all have some form of communicable disease (exclusive of porphyric hemophilia). This will often be chronic hepatitis B or C, although HIV is not uncommon.

In terms of general dental health and occlusion, vampires suffer from significant issues. This, in turn, impacts their lives in such a way as to promote a temperamental and irritable demeanor. Some vampires subsequently develop depression-like symptoms. Therefore, many vampires are prescribed antidepressants which can create xerostomia (dry mouth). On the other hand, compliance with dosing instructions is universally poor in these immortal beings, so rampant caries caused by a lack of saliva is not a primary concern.

As the population of vampires increases exponentially in the coming years, further studies will be needed to monitor the success of current dental methods for those with a vampiric lifestyle.

About scwtte

Founder, and chief author, of CGHM Networks.
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