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Bacteria infested water at dental office sends 30 kids to the hospital

Root canals

(NaturalNews) Thirty Southern California children were rushed to the emergency room over the summer, all with swollen gums and severe pain in their jaws, after contracting an infection at the same dental office. It took weeks and sometimes months before the infection started showing symptoms, which included swelling, redness and pain around the infected teeth.

All 30 children, between the ages of 3 and 9, were infected with mycobacterium abscessus while they were having a tooth irrigated. Most people who are infected with this bacterium are able to flush it out of their systems with ease, however these children were unable to overcome the infection because it had settled into their root canals, trapped under capped teeth. The situation is dire because it can have long term health consequences, including reoccurring infections. In some cases the jaw itself must be removed.

The dangers of root canals emerge in California and Georgia dental clinics

All the affected children had undergone either a pulpotomy or a child root canal at the Children's Dental Group in Anaheim, California. The stagnant, unclean water used at the dental group was tainted with the bacterium, and during the root canal surgery the dirty water deposited the bacteria inside the children's capped teeth. More cases are expected to surface in the coming weeks.

Dr. Matthew Zahn of the Orange County Health Care Agency said, "Several hundred people had these pulpotomies, so we are anticipating that for at least the next several weeks or months, we're going to see more cases." In all, 842 children have undergone the pulpotomy procedure at the dental group since March.

In California, dental offices are required to flush out their water lines for at least two minutes each day. The infection likely started from un-flushed water lines. In fact, this is exactly what happened at a Georgia dental clinic back in 2015, when 20 children were sickened by root canals that locked in bacteria that had grown in un-flushed water lines.

The Children's Dental Group has stopped using the tainted water lines, is having them replaced and is instituting water purity inspections. The Dental Board of California is investigating how the facility's procedures contributed to the outbreak.

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