I
DISC PROLAPSE
teeth, especially in children. Some dyes
in foodstuffs can cause yellowing; dark
brown spots may be due to areas of
thinned enamel stained by foods. Some
bacteria produce an orange-red stain.
Stains may also follow the use of drugs
containing metallic salts.
INTRINSIC STAINS
Intrinsic stains (w ithin the tooth’s sub-
stance) are permanent, but they can be
reduced by
bleaching
.
Causes include
the death of the pulp inside the tooth
or the removal of the pulp during
root-
canal treatment.
The
antibiotic
drug
tetracycline
can be absorbed by develop-
ing teeth, and may cause yellowing of
the teeth if given to children.
Mottling of the tooth enamel occurs
if excessive amounts of fluoride are
consumed during development of the
enamel (see
fluorosis
) .
Hepatitis
(liver
disease)
during infancy may lead to
discoloration of the primary teeth. The
teeth of children with
congenital
mal-
formation
of the
bile ducts
may be
sim ilarly affected.
TREATMENT
Many stains can be covered or dim in-
ished with whitening toothpastes or
with cosmetic dental procedures such
as
bonding
and bleaching.
disc, optic
See
optic disc
.
disc prolapse
A common disorder of the
spine
,
in
w hich one of the pads between the ver-
tebrae (see
disc, intervertebral
)
ruptures
and part of its pulpy core protrudes.
Commonly known as a slipped disc, it
causes painful and at times disabling
pressure on a nerve root or, less com-
monly, on the spinal cord. The lower
back is most commonly affected, but
disc prolapse can affect any of the ver-
tebrae, including those in the neck.
CAUSES
A prolapsed disc may sometimes be
caused by a sudden strenuous action
(such as lifting a heavy weight), but
it usually develops gradually, due to
degeneration of the discs with age.
SYMPTOMS
Symptoms depend on the location of
the affected disc. If the sciatic nerve root
is compressed, it causes
sciatica
,
which
may be accompanied by numbness and
tingling, and, eventually, by weakness in
the muscles of the leg. A prolapsed disc
in the neck causes neck pain and stiff-
ness and weakness in the arm and hand.
TREATMENT
The symptoms of disc prolapse often
improve with time,
as the swelling
around
the
protruding
disc
tissue
D
PHYSICAL AIDS FOR THE DISABLED
A variety of specially designed or adapted articles are available
to help disabled people carry out everyday activities. Such aids
include prostheses, supports, and mobility aids to improve
disabled people’s general functioning, as well as items
designed to help them perform specific tasks more easily.
Devices that help vision, hearing, and movement improve
the ability of disabled people to cope with all aspects of daily
life. Such devices include walking frames, glasses, hearing-
aids, artificial limbs, corsets, and wheelchairs. For people
with very severe conditions, ventilators, home dialysis, and
artificial feeding devices are used to sustain life.
There are various household aids available that can help
people to cook, feed themselves, wash, dress, use the toilet,
and get in and out of beds and chairs. Specially designed
furniture and other devices can help disabled parents to care
for their children. Sexual aids can facilitate an active sex life.
Tap turner
A device that helps with gripping
and turning taps.
Cutlery
A range of knives, forks, and
spoons with thick, moulded
handles for easy manipulation.
Tongs
Extending tongs to pickup
dropped items. The tongs close
up to fit in a pocket or handbag.
Toothpaste extruder
A wall-mounted device that
dispenses toothpaste with
minimal finger pressure.
Scissors
Self-opening scissors with
easy-grip handles.
“A” frame
A lightweight walking frame that doubles
as a seat and can be folded flat.
237
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