Is safeguard compromised? Surgical mouth mask harboring hazardous microorganisms in dental practice.

Is safeguard compromised? Surgical mouth mask harboring hazardous microorganisms in dental practice.

J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 Feb;9(2):759-763

Authors: Sachdev R, Garg K, Singh G, Mehrotra V

Context: Dental personals are more prone to acquire infections through saliva and aerosols. Surgical masks (SMs) are used by dental professionals to reduce microorganism shedding from the mouth, nose, and face of the patient.
Aims: This aim of the study is to assess the bacterial and fungal presence and their prevalence over the contaminated surgical mask in dental practice.
Settings and Design: This study was conducted with sample size 240 used surgical masks collected from 130 dental personnel.
Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted with analysis involved inoculation of external and internal surfaces in an enrichment media for isolation of bacteria and fungi. Group of isolated bacteria and fungi were preliminarily identified by morphology and using Gram’s stain and lacto-phenol cotton blue mediums. Data were analyzed using paired t-test; the significant level of P < 0.050.
Results: Microbiological analysis of samples revealed bacteria Staphylococci 26.35% as a predominant species followed by Pseudomonas 17.82% and Streptococci 15.50%. Aspergillus fungal species was also present in 6.97%. Mean ± SD of bacterial and fungal contamination on inside/outside area of the used masks was 48 ± 26 and 180 ± 110 cfu/ml/piece and 14 ± 6 and 32 ± 13 cfu/ml/piece, respectively, P < 0.001. The used surgical masks from dental department personnel working outpatient dental department had relatively higher bacterial and fungal contamination than the other dental departments.
Conclusions: To reduce a load of microorganism contamination in the clinical environment, more awareness campaigns should be implemented in daily routine and air quality of dental departments should be improved with necessary protective measures.

PMID: 32318416 [PubMed]

Source: Industry