The CDC is warning dental patients about rare bacterial infections through water lines

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an emergency response and public well being advisory relating to outbreaks of non-tuberculosis mycobacterial infections through dental water lines.

The alert was posted through the company’s Health Alert Network. It reminds dental patients and professionals of the significance of sanitation throughout dental procedures.

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria are outlined as “opportunistic pathogens”. [that place] Certain teams are at greater threat, together with these with lung illness or depressed immune methods,” in accordance with the CDC.


In instances of an infection, in accordance with the American Pulp Removal Procedure, the CDC has reported many documented instances of mycobacterial dental affiliation following pulpotomy in rare kids.

Documented outbreaks occurred in March 2022. According to the CDC, they got here from a pediatric dental clinic that had excessive ranges of micro organism within the water therapy.

The metropolis and state the place the newest outbreak was reported weren’t disclosed.

Water is usually utilized in dental procedures. The CDC stated the investigation into the cluster of outbreaks is ongoing.

Nontuberculous mycobacteria had been transmitted to patients through dental unit water lines, which the CDC outlined as “narrowly perforated plastic tubing” that carries water through “high-velocity handpieces, air/water syringes, and ultrasound scales.”

An investigation into the cluster of sicknesses is ongoing and a preliminary web site go to has been carried out, the CDC stated in an announcement.

“Large numbers of waterborne micro organism will be present in untreated dental unit water methods,” the CDC wrote.

In pediatric dental places of work in 2016, odontogenic (infections occurring within the enamel or surrounding tissues) instances occurred previously, together with 71 dental patients contaminated with non-tuberculous mycobacteria.

A yr earlier, 24 dental patients in Georgia had been contaminated with non-odontogenic mycobacteria after the identical process.

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“Outbreaks in California and Georgia have concerned younger kids between the ages of 4 and eight,” the CDC wrote.

“Most kids developed extreme infections with scientific diagnoses similar to cervical lymphadenitis and mandibular or jaw osteomyelitis and required hospitalization, therapy similar to intravenous antibiotics, and surgical procedures.”

Infections from bacteria-filled gums can cause mild or severe complications.

Infections from bacteria-filled gums may cause delicate or extreme issues.

“Sequences of their infections embrace everlasting tooth loss, listening to loss, facial nerve palsy and cuticular fibrosis,” the warning added.

Dental waterline models are susceptible to biofilm formation and bacterial development during times of low water circulation and frequent downtime.

“As a consequence, giant quantities of waterborne micro organism will be present in untreated dental unit water methods,” the CDC wrote.

“Disease-causing organisms present in untreated dental unit water might embrace Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).”


Other dental procedures which will pose a threat if persons are uncovered to contaminated water embrace incisions, incisions, biopsies, periodontal surgical procedures, apical surgical procedures, implant surgical procedures, tooth extractions, and bone removing, the CDC notes.

Dentists should ensure that they are working with clean instruments and sterile water.

Dentists ought to be certain that they’re working with clear devices and sterile water.

Dental surgeons and practitioners ought to solely use “sterile options as coolants or irrigants” whereas “utilizing applicable supply gear similar to a syringe with a sterile bulb, sterile tubing bypassing the water lines of the dental unit, or sterile disposable gadgets.” sterile bulb syringe CDC.

The company recommends that dental professionals and services comply with tips for an infection management in dental settings, monitor water high quality, and deal with dental division water lines for affected person security.

Biofilm will be eliminated and prevented with routine sanitation practices, together with disinfectants that meet Environmental Protection Agency regulatory requirements or business disinfectants and instruments.

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According to the well being company, dental suppliers ought to seek advice from the producer’s directions when dealing with dental gear to make sure they use “applicable strategies” to successfully preserve and management the standard of the dental water they use.

Dental patients can ask dentists about their hygiene policies.

Dental patients can ask dentists about their hygiene insurance policies.

Dental patients and fogeys or guardians of pediatric dental patients ought to contact a dentist if an infection is suspected after therapy, the CDC advisory stated.


“Signs and signs of postoperative dental an infection might embrace a localized oral abscess, fever, or ache and swelling within the mouth or neck,” the CDC wrote.

“Talk to your dental supplier about an infection prevention and management practices and what steps their employees takes to make sure secure therapy for all patients.”

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