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An infected hand caused from a routine dental visit?

An infected hand caused by a routine dental visit?

I recently ran across this article, Visit to dentist leaves man with bizarre lump on his hand, deadly heart infection.  How did an oral infection end up in his heart?

As a dentist, the title jumped out at me. “Oh no, what happened? A patient comes in for a routine dental visit and ends up with an infection in his heart and this bump on his hand?”  The article made it sound like the problem started because of a visit to the dental office.  I decided to investigate a bit further and I found the original article.

Press here to download the original article as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ahhh, I get it.  His mouth was infected because of poor oral hygiene. The patient had a routine dental visit.  Did he have a tooth pulled, did he have his teeth cleaned?  The article doesn’t say.  The interesting part of the article is how the infection that was in his mouth traveled through his bloodstream and colonized in his heart and caused the bump on his hand.

The bump on his hand is an aneurysm.  Wow! an infection that originates in the mouth could cause an aneurysm. Scary stuff!  Infections in the mouth are very common and can be caused by unhealthy gums, decay, cavities and broken teeth.

The answer is no.

There are so many times that we have patients asking, “I’m not having any pain, can I leave well enough alone?” The answer is no.  It is very important to have a clean, infection-free mouth. As your oral health care providers, we do all we can to fight oral infections.

Has it been awhile?  Do you need to have your teeth checked? Or do you need to have your teeth cleaned? Are you looking for a judgment-free office?  Give us a call. (207) 236-4740.

Norman Medina DDS
Norman Medina DDS

Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.

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