The Doctors: Holding In Bowel Movements & Dangerous Tooth Abscess


The Doctors: Holding In Bowel Movements

Gastroenterologist Dr. Anish Sheth joined The Doctors on TMI Tuesday for a slightly embarrassing, yet very important, discussion on bowel movements. Is there a way to hold it in safely if you’ve really got to go, but aren’t near a bathroom? The surprising answer is yes.

The Doctors: Holding In Bowel Movements & Dangerous Tooth Abscess

On TMI Tuesday, The Doctors investigated bowel movements and a dangerous tooth abscess.


Dr. Sheth explained that in order to understand bowel movements, you’ve got to “break down the physics of flatulence.” The loudness of farts depends on both the pressure and the size of the sphincter opening. If you clench and try to hold it in, the fart will become even louder. Dr. Sheth said that relaxing the belly is very important if you’re trying to be inconspicuous.

The Drs: What Your Stool Means About Your Health

Later a brave audience member, Julie, volunteered without even knowing what for. Julie ended up placing her hand in a mystery box to feel what was inside. The simulated poop of various shapes and sizes helped fuel a discussion on what our stool means about our health.

If your stool is mushy and grainy, it could mean you had a spicy or gassy lunch. However, it could also be a sign of a fissure, which feels like “passing shards of glass.” It’s very painful, and it’s important to get that checked out.


“Floaters” and “sinkers” also happen because of gas. A floater isn’t really a cause for concern, unless it’s consistent and smells very bad. On the flip side, a sinker could mean you are dehydrated. Although stool is supposed to sink, it’s not supposed to sink “like an anvil.” That may indicate a need for more water in your diet.

The Doctors: Tooth Abscess & Cellulitis

The Doctors also shared an update on their friend, Bones, a stage manager on the show. Bones came into work recently with a swollen, asymmetrical jaw, which Dr. Travis Stork immediately recognized as a tooth abscess. Since this is a potentially dangerous problem, Dr. Travis invited Dr. Bill Dorfman to come examine Bones’ teeth.

Dr. Dorfman explained that Bones had an infection of the teeth and had to have two molars removed. If left untreated, this infection could have led to cellulitis, a life-threatening condition. He advised that the minute you feel pain or swelling in your mouth, get to your dentist right away. Even better, visit your dentist every six months to avoid developing these issues.

Watch below as Dr. Dorfman examines Bones’ teeth and removes the infected molars. A few days later, Bones was doing fine after receiving antibiotics.


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