Livin' on the MDedge

A very strange place to find a tooth


A nose for the tooth

Have you ever had a stuffy nose that just wouldn’t go away? Those irritating head colds have nothing on the stuffy nose a man in New York recently had to go through. A stuffy nose to top all stuffy noses. One stuffy nose to rule them all, as it were.

closeup of upper teeth John Oliver/Pixabay

This man went to a Mount Sinai clinic with difficulty breathing through his right nostril, a problem that had been going on for years. Let us repeat that: A stuffy nose that lasted for years. The exam revealed a white mass jutting through the back of the septum and a CT scan confirmed the diagnosis. Perhaps you’ve already guessed, since the headline does give things away. Yes, this man had a tooth growing into his nose.

The problem was a half-inch-long ectopic tooth. Ectopic teeth are rare, occurring in less than 1% of people, but an ectopic tooth growing backward into the nasal cavity? Well, that’s so uncommon that this man got a case report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This story does have a happy ending. Not all ectopic teeth need to be treated, but this one really did have to go. The offending tooth was surgically removed and, at a 3-month follow-up, the stuffy nose issue was completely resolved. So our friend gets the best of both worlds: His issue gets cured and he gets a case report in a major medical publication. If that’s not living the dream, we don’t know what is, and that’s the tooth.

Lettuce recommend you a sleep aid

Lettuce is great for many things. The star in a salad? Of course. The fresh element in a BLT? Yep. A sleep aid? According to a TikTok hack with almost 5 million views, the pinch hitter in a sandwich is switching leagues to be used like a tea for faster sleep. But, does it really work? Researchers say yes and no, according to a recent report at

several heads of lettuce in a garden PxHere

Studies conducted in 2013 and 2017 pointed toward a compound called lactucin, which is found in the plant’s n-butanol fraction. In the 2013 study, mice that received n-butanol fraction fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer. In 2017, researchers found that lettuce made mice sleep longer and helped protect against cell inflammation and damage.

OK, so it works on mice. But what about humans? In the TikTok video, user Shapla Hoque pours hot water on a few lettuce leaves in a mug with a peppermint tea bag (for flavor). After 10 minutes, when the leaves are soaked and soggy, she removes them and drinks the lettuce tea. By the end of the video she’s visibly drowsy and ready to crash. Does this hold water?

Here’s the no. Dr. Charlotte Norton of the Slimming Clinic told that yeah, there are some properties in lettuce that will help you fall asleep, such as lactucarium, which is prominent in romaine. But you would need a massive amount of lettuce to get any effect. The TikTok video, she said, is an example of the placebo effect.


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