Lung Disease Killing Dentists in Mysterious Cluster, CDC Report Says

What is killing US dentists? Medical experts baffled after a cluster of dental workers die from a chronic lung disease

Dentists Mysteriously Dying of Lung Disease: CDC Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are trying to figure out what killed seven from nine dental workers who were being analyzed as part of a medical cluster at a Virginia hospital.

About 85 percent of IPF patients also have a chronic, mainly dry cough that persists for more than eight weeks. Although the dentists only represented 1 percent of the number with the disease, only 0.038 percent of people in the USA are dentists.

CDC stated that, "A questionnaire was administered to one of the living patients, who reported polishing dental appliances and preparing amalgams and impressions without respiratory protection. Although no clear etiologies for this cluster exist, occupational exposures possibly contributed".

The agency investigated after one dentist with IVF called attention to the pattern of lung disease at the care center. The study published Friday is the first to show a link between IPF and dentistry.

The report has been made based on the analysis of patients from the Virginia care center that discovered a higher occurrence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) mostly among dentist. "Dental personnel are exposed to infectious agents, chemicals, airborne particulates, ionizing radiation and other potentially hazardous materials. Inhalational exposures experienced by dentists likely increase their risk for certain work-related respiratory diseases". National Institutes of Health explain. The lung tissues get thickened over a certain time period, making it hard to get the required amount of oxygen to the important organs such as brain and heart.

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When there is no visible cause for this scarring, the condition is idiopathic.

He said: 'Dentists and other dental personnel have unique exposures at work, ' Nett said.

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.

Although the reason behind this remains unsuspected, there might be certain factors contributing towards growth of this disease such as smoking, viral infection, exposure of toxic substance at the time of polishing the dental appliances without wearing any surgical mask for safety goal in order to avoid the damage caused to the body by inhaling the dust particles, as per chief policy officer of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's Pediatric Oral Health & Research Center, Paul Casamassimo, shared with CNN.

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