Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

Oral health worsens during hospital stays, suggests new study

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

oral health hospital stay

Oral health deteriorates during periods of hospitalization, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Researchers examined the oral health of 162 patients on arrival and two weeks later, discovering a rise in gum disease and levels of plaque. The bacteria in plaque wears down healthy gum tissue and may cause infections. In these cases, bad breath may be a red flag of underlying symptoms like gingivitis.

When bed-ridden, taking care of one’s teeth and gums may get placed on the back burner. But the main problem, researchers identified, is that many facilities have no policies in place for routine oral health practices, and no members of the health care teams assess patients’ oral health conditions during the hospitalization. Besides watching out for gum disease symptoms, those who are sick, have the flu or a cold may come down with post nasal drip, where mucus runs down the back of the throat instead of through the nose. Post nasal drip is especially common when patients’ sinuses are congested.

Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, believes the study points to a need for brushing and flossing practices to become a greater priority during hospital stays.

“In a challenging hospital environment it may be inevitable that oral care is seen as a low priority, but it is clear that more needs to be done,” Carter explained. He also mentioned that family members, friends and other loved ones who visit the hospital may be able to help with that difference.

“There are guidelines for the provision of oral care in hospital settings, but as the research points out, there is limited detail for carers,” the doctor pointed out. “The help of close family and friends during hospital stays can make a difference to this aspect of their care and well-being and more should be done to encourage their involvement.”

Visitors could bring the patient’s toothbrush, a pack of floss, alcohol-free mouthwash rinse and any other items necessary for oral hygiene.

Hospital food upgrade? Diet plays another key role in both systemic and oral health, yet traditional hospital food falls far below desired fare. The food and drink you put into your mouth provides energy, but it also affects your teeth and gums – the body’s gateway. (more…)

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CDC: 1 in 25 US Hospital Patients Acquire Infections

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

US Hospital Patients Infections Halitosis

According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals came down with an infection while in care units in 2011.

In the last decade, these antibiotic-resistant infections have become increasingly prevalent. Patients acquired around 721,800 infections at hospitals that year. Of those, about 75,000 died, according to the CDC.

The report comes after a swarm of news stories have detailed the rise in what experts have called “superbugs.” This type of bacteria carries genes that enable them to survive against widely used antibiotics. Basically, these superbugs no longer respond to oral antibiotics.

“Even though we’ve had great success nationally, there still are pockets of hospitals that have rates of infection that are several times the national average,” Dr. Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told CNN.

The recent statistic is particularly scary, as hospitals are generally considered a place where patients go to improve their conditions, not the opposite.

As you know, a healthy body is inextricably linked to a healthy mouth. So, what happens to your immune system - including these infections – can impact the health of your mouth, leading to halitosis, among other things.

(more…)

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