Study: Oral infections lead to more hospitalizations

Our team at Gentle Dental will tell you that good oral hygiene is important, not only for looks, but for general health as well. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, bone loss, heart disease, strokes, and infection. In fact, we recently read a nine-year study which reported a spike in hospitalizations due to dental infections since 2008. Previous studies have shown that oral problems are responsible for hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits annually. The new report, however, published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Endodontics, focused on patients who were hospitalized due to periapical abscess, an infection that results from bacteria invading the pulp of the tooth. Periapical abscess is a common result of untreated tooth decay that, if untreated, can be dangerous if it spreads.

Besides periapical abscesses, we want you to know about other common dental infections, which include:

  • Dental caries (cavities that form on children’s teeth)
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Periodontitis (gum tissue around the molar teeth, or any erupting tooth that becomes swollen and infected)
  • Pulpitis (inflammation or infection of the pulp, which is the center of the tooth)

Although these infections can be caused by poor dental care and not visiting our office on a regular basis for checkups, they may also affect people with underlying medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders. In some cases, infections can progress to the point which swelling becomes life threatening. Regular checkups and cleanings at Gentle Dental can easily prevent these infections and other mouth problems and give you peace of mind.

If you have any questions about this study or to schedule your next appointment, please give us a call at our convenient Ann Arbor office today! Dr. Dagostin, Dr. Hwang, Dr. Lacin, Dr. Lechner, and Dr. Wang, as well as our entire team, look forward to working with you!

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