Reddit: Your New Oral Pathology Sidekick

We have seen people make some questionable decisions because of Reddit the past few years. But between all the risky Gamestop trades, you can also find a tough oral pathology diagnosis. A visualized review of how a oral pathologist turned to Reddit for help.

Reddit: Your New Oral Pathology Sidekick

More than Just Risky Gamestop Trades.

We have seen dentists make some questionable decisions on Reddit the past year (exhibit A below). But, Reddit can also help solve problems.

The Internet is Mind-Blowing

Dr. Stephen Roth, a board certified oral pathologist, explains how the community-driven social platform helped solve an oral pathology mystery.

Here’s what happened.

  1. Palatal Pain. A 60ish year old man with history of colon, kidney, stomach, and bilateral lung cancer presented to Dr. Roth’s practice with a chief complaint of palate swelling and pain.
  2. What's that? Upon examination, a hard white area was seen on the back on the back of the palate
  3. Instant Relief. The white object was able to be removed
  4. Confused. The clinicians were stumped about the origin of the object.

“Let’s Turn to Reddit”

Wedged between the Wall Street Betters and Bitcoin Enthusiasts, a subreddit called “What is this thing?” helps posters figure out, well...what are unknown objects. Self-explanatory. This is where Dr. Roth found the answer to his question. He posted a picture of the object and random Reddit guesses started rolling in.

After some guesses like...

  • 🩺Surgical Drain
  • 🍭Lollipop Stick (lol)
  • 🥩Meat String
  • 🕯️Candle Wick

...our hero, our savior, Reddit user FTDMFR came through with the knowledge bomb. It turns out...

The Patient Snores.

A Pillar Procedure, designed to help with sleep apnea, previously placed these pillar implants.

Of course, as soon as Dr. Roth asked about the procedure- the patient confirmed that the surgery had occurred years ago. To be fair, the patient probably didn't know what was being placed during the procedure as Dr. Roth states.

So moral of the story here: talking to strangers on the internet can be very helpful….sometimes.

That's actually horrible advice. Don't do that.