The Misbehaving Tooth Fairy

In the article “The tooth fairy and malpractice” by Sian Ludman, Hamid Daya, Polly S Richards, and Adam Fox, in BMJ Christmas 2012, 345, e3027, a very interesting discussion is made of the tooth fairy.

The article states

“We are concerned that the actions of the mythical character at the root of this report must be brought to the attention of the medical community, as it seems to represent the first signs of a worrying new trend in malpractice.”

The tooth fairy is widely considered to be benevolent but the authors present a disturbing report. A discussion is made of an 8 year old who presented with a foreign body in the left external auditory meatus (which showed up on a CT scan). The image is in the report.

The parents of the boy discussed how three years earlier the boy had woken from sleep and was extremely distressed because the tooth fairy had put a tooth in his left ear. The tooth had initially been left under his pillow for the tooth fairy to collect and to leave some money in its place. The parents tried to find the tooth but were unable to.

Once the tooth was located in his left ear the boy had an ENT surgeon remove it.

The authors also present two other cases involved a misbehaving tooth fairy

“The other cases involve a tooth in the upper oesophagus causing tracheal obstruction in a trauma situation, and a man who developed a nipple abscess after inserting his child’s milk tooth into the hole of his nipple piercing to keep his child’s tooth near to his heart.”

Perhaps certain guidelines should be developed to prevent children’s teeth from causing harm. Perhaps a tooth placed under a pillow should instead be placed in a plastic bag or small box or something similar.

Source: “Experts warn of misbehaving tooth fairy”

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