Braces are one of those grueling coming-of-age experiences most young adults are forced to endure. But for one Tennessee teen, braces were more than a nuisance. WMC ActionNews5 reports how braces became a life-threatening medical mystery for 15 year-old Kennedy Odom, whose mouth was plagued by blisters and lesions so painful she could not eat or go to school. 
According to the news report, Kennedy visited doctor after doctor to no avail. Her family spent thousands of dollars on medical testing and prescription drugs that did not help. Despite the hopelessness conveyed by doctors, Kennedy's family never lost faith. After months of endless doctors visits and countless hours of Internet research, Kennedy's family finally solved the mystery themselves. 


"We asked 'Is it possible that since all of the issues are surrounding her mouth area, inside her mouth, her lips, that it may have something to do with her braces?" said Kennedy's godmother, Tamara Irving. 

Once Kennedy's mother and godmother pinpointed the source of the mystery to which doctors were blind, they found a good team of doctors to diagnose Kennedy, who had at that point lost 30 pounds and was being prescribed heavy doses of pain medication. 
The conclusion? A nickel allergy. 


According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of nickel allergy include rash or bumps, itching, redness or changing in skin color, dry patches of skin resembling a burn, and in severe cases, blisters and draining fluid. 

Mayo Clinic advises people to talk to their doctors if a rash appears on their bodies from an unknown source. It could be a nickel allergy, or something else. What is important is that you receive a correct diagnosis and are treated immediately. 

In a news report by WMC ActionNews5, the periodontist treating Kennedy, Dr. Mitchel Godat urged, "talking to your dentist about your allergies can be the difference between life and death. Even something that seems so minor to tell a dentist or a physician, you have got to tell them all of your medical history." 

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