Dentists play important role in reducing C. diff infections: 5 key points

Many patients are receiving antibiotics following dental procedures, which is likely contributing to the rise in Clostridium difficile infections, according to News-Medical.

The Minnesota Department of Health monitored community-associated C. diff infections in five Minnesota counties over a six-month period.

Here are five key points:

1. Of cases linked to C. diff infections, 15 percent involved patients taking antibiotics prescribed for dental procedures.

2. A previous Minnesota Department of Health study found 36 percent of dentists prescribed antibiotics in cases where the American Dental Association would not recommend antibiotics.

3. Stacy Holzbauer, DVM, lead study author, said many dentists may be unaware of the ADA's most recent recommendations.

4. Dr. Holzbauer cited data finding providers could reduce C. diff rates outside of healthcare facilities by 17 percent by truncating outpatient antibiotic prescribing by 10 percent.

5. To lower C. diff rates, researchers say improved communication is needed between medical and dental communities.

More dental news:
Aspen Dental is meeting consumer demand through new Tennessee office: Here's how
Delta Dental of Kentucky appoints Jude Thompson CEO: 5 observations
Colorado dentists curb opioid prescriptions: 5 things to know

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