The Irish Dental Association has urged people to prioritise their oral health and not to ignore dental pain, gum infection or trauma.
The call follows the death of 26 year old Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich, a father of two from California, who passed away after a dental infection spread to his lungs.
While deaths from dental infection are thankfully rare, this tragedy underlines the fact that untreated tooth and gum infections can lead to other health complications and even fatal consequences. Prevention is key. Don’t ignore an abscess, gum infection, swelling or dental injury and be sure to visit your dentist promptly if you have a concern.
A study from 2015 showed there had been a 38% increase in the number of patients admitted to Irish hospitals with severe dental infections.
There is no doubt that the swingeing cuts which were made to the medical card and PRSI dental schemes as well as the Public Dental Service are responsible for this massive increase. These cuts have removed preventive treatments, putting patients at risk from dental disease with potential risks to their general health. At present antibiotics are often prescribed in the absence of the availability of effective treatment.