Dentists Mysteriously Dying of Lung Disease: CDC Report

Friday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals eight dentists and a dental technician were treated for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at a Virginia care center between 2000 and 2015. Almost seven of the cases found dead due to lung disease, and due to chronic disease, two more patients found dying.

Although the number of nine patients may not seem a lot - it is just 1 percent of all.

The investigation came after one dentist diagnosed with the lung disease alerted the CDC to the pattern at the care center. "Substances used during these tasks contained ... known or potential respiratory toxicity".

"Although IPF has been associated with certain occupations, no published data exist regarding IPF in dentists", the CDC said. Though the agency has mentioned that dentists and dental personnel are exposed to ionizing radiation, airborne particulates, chemicals, infectious agents and other likely hazardous materials.

Well, odd to know, that dentists are dying due to lung disease, but what's the exact reason behind this disease, yet not found.

Dentists experience inhalation exposures that can elevate their risk toward some respiratory diseases related to occupation.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which lung tissue becomes scarred, the U.S.

"The living patient who was interviewed reported occupational exposures to known respiratory hazards (e.g., silica) yet did not wear National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified respiratory protection". Then the thickened lung tissue faces difficulties in ingesting oxygen into blood vessels and relieves the crucial organs such as heart and brain.

When doctors can not find a cause for the scarring condition, it is known as being idiopathic.

There appears to be no recognizable cause for the cases with the dentists. Doctors are still unsure of what causes the disease, which kills patients between three and five years after diagnosis.

Symptoms of IPF include shortness of breath, a dry, chronic cough, weight loss, joint and muscle pain and clubbed fingers or toes.

While the doctors can not find what caused the scarring condition to the cluster of dentists, some experts have suggested viral infections, cigarette smoking, and occupations where exposure to dust, wood dust, and metal dust are common, as the contributing factors to IPF.

The new report is not surprising according to Dr. Paul Casamassimo, who is the Chief Policy Officer for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's Pediatric Oral Health & Research Center.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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