Why does popcorn pull out teeth causing heart valve infection to have open heart surgery?

A popcorn seed accidentally caught in the teeth of a man in England led him to an emergency hospitalization for an infected heart valve. These two seemingly unrelated stories turned out to be very interesting.

While eating a popcorn with his wife while watching a movie at home in September 2019, Adam Martin, 41, a British firefighter, had a popcorn in his teeth . For the next three days, despite all his efforts, Martin was unable to get the popcorn. However, few people suspect that the popcorn itself will cause heart valve infection.

A week later, he began to show symptoms of night sweats, fatigue and headache. Martin thought it was a sign of the flu, so he didn't see a doctor. But later when he arrived at the hospital, he realized that it was a manifestation of endocarditis , or a surface infection inside the heart's chamber . This infection usually occurs when bacteria from the mouth, skin, intestines and other areas enter the bloodstream. In October, Martin went to see a doctor for examination and eventually went to Royal Cornwall hospital for definitive treatment.

According to Foxnews , doctors have been trying to remove the residual popcorn on the teeth with specialized dental equipment. This is the cause of Martin's infection and lead to heart surgery.

Martin has had two major surgeries and is beginning to recover with a new heart valve. After experiencing one of the biggest shocks of his life, Martin wishes to be able to share his lessons with everyone.

Picture 1 of Why does popcorn pull out teeth causing heart valve infection to have open heart surgery?
Due to its sticky nature, popcorn is more likely to be stuck between teeth.

Chewing popcorn, seemingly simple, can cause serious problems. Due to its sticky nature, popcorn is more likely to be stuck between teeth. This makes us feel uncomfortable and often have to use our tongue, even our fingers and mouthwash to get the severed popcorn.

However, if a strong impact causes the gums to injure or bleed, it will allow the bacteria to invade through the bloodstream into the body . Gums are actually cellular tissue filled with blood vessels, so this is a very vulnerable environment. Even the mouth of a healthy person contains at least 700 species of bacteria and many of them are extremely dangerous if they enter the bloodstream.

However, even if the bacteria overcome the first defense mechanism, it will still have to face the body's immune system. In some cases, bacteria can even bypass the body's final defense mechanism before entering other organs through the bloodstream.

In particular, folds and cardiac structure often create the perfect place for bacteria to reside. If unfortunate, it can lead to endocarditis. If not treated quickly with antibiotics, the infection will seriously affect the heart muscle and heart valve tissue.

About 100 in 8,000 people are at risk of getting a heart infection. More remarkable than the death rate from a heart infection is very high, from 10-30%.

Picture 2 of Why does popcorn pull out teeth causing heart valve infection to have open heart surgery?
Eating popcorn does not have to be simple.

Martin is probably one of the lucky ones to spot and treat. However, if Martin took the initiative to see a doctor after finding symptoms, perhaps everything would have been resolved soon. Martin said: "The doctors said that if I did not go to the doctor early, I would probably die within 3 days."

The doctors said they had a blood test and heard strange noises from the heart. From there they diagnosed Martin with an infection and prescribed him a prescription. However, even when taking antibiotics, things did not catch up when the condition was quite severe at that time.

The condition forced doctors to make a decision to replace the infected aortic valve, then repair the mitral valve and patch up the abscess areas.

Perhaps in Martin's life, he did not expect that one day he would be harmed by a single popcorn. His wife, Helen, gave advice to people that: "If there are any signs of toothache, bleeding gums, abscess, please check right away . "

  • Video: Close-up of a transition from corn kernels to popcorn
  • Why did popcorn explode into popcorn?
« Prev post
Next post »