Dental work is essential for every person to receive every six months. Then again, diseases and illnesses can be a factor to skip going to a dentist office. Hepatitis is a chronic liver disease that can either be viral or autoimmune. Dental surgeries can also be risky for hepatitis patients so, consult your doctor before proceeding. You may also want to discover which hepatitis is the worst during dental work. Both patients and oral healthcare practitioners must follow the protocols administered by local and global health organizations. For you to fully understand the immensity of hepatitis, here are some facts regarding which hepatitis is the worst.
How Dangerous Is Hepatitis?
Millions of people are affected globally with the issue of hepatitis. Globally, at least 71 million people are suffering from both the viral infection and autoimmune versions of hepatitis. Hepatitis affects anyone and ranges from mild symptoms to severe and chronic lifelong illness. If a patient with a hepatitis infection doesn’t maintain his or her health, complications such as liver cancer or inflammation can get worse. Hepatitis is also one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 399,000 people died from hepatitis C from 2016. It is vital to get the vaccine as early as possible to prevent the dangers of HAV, HBV, and HCV.
Which Hepatitis Is The Worst?
Any kind of viral infection or autoimmune disorder have adverse side effects in a person’s body. Often, viruses, germs, and bacteria can even spread to other people and in the environment. Today, there is still no treatment for hepatitis, although prevention is possible. Anyone infected with a virus can also get a high risk of deadly diseases with neglect on their health care. But, if you’re curious which hepatitis is the worst, you may start looking at the symptoms that all three or four types of hepatitis do.
- Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A is usually acquired through food or water contamination or during close contact with an infected patient. HAV doesn’t cause chronic infection, but it may develop into HBV or HCV if unmanaged. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands, avoiding street foods with no sanitation, and getting vaccines. Although hep A isn’t as dangerous as the higher levels of hepatitis, it is still recommended to have a checkup right away. You may want to go to a doctor as fast as possible if you see symptoms of low-grade fever, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, as well as dark urine and intense itching.
- Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B or HBV is a common virus infection that may have little difference to other cases when transmitted. It is a potentially deadly disease that occurs through mother to infant infections, body fluids secretion, and dental work. At least 847,000 to 2.2 million people in the United States have this infection. Hepatitis D, also called HDV, may also complicate HBV as both are co-infections. However, HDV is rare and only happens in hot spot countries like the Republic of Moldova, Western and Middle Africa, and Mongolia.
- Hepatitis C (HCV)
According to many doctors, HCV or hepatitis C is the worst as the levels of inflammation and infection is in its fatal stages. Moreover, liver cirrhosis, liver disease, and other liver complications can affect a person’s life. The real danger of hep C is that a patient can still be asymptomatic. But, the type of hepatitis is already in its critical period. Hepatitis C includes symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, jaundice, and abdominal and joint pain. Further signs of HCV show as people with dark urine, itchy skin, and high fever. People can have 15 years of this viral infection through blood transfusion, unsterile needle piercings, unsafe sex, and passed from mothers to babies.
Hepatitis And Dental Work: What Are The Safety Protocols?
Since the worst scenario for a person that wants to avoid hepatitis is close contact infection, it is our recommendation always to follow safety protocols and guidelines. Patients and dental staff are susceptible to exposure, particularly in a hospital or clinic setting. Organizations like the American Dental Association, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, as well as the World Health Organization, have guidelines for dentists and patients in the dentistry practice. You may also ask for additional information from your local dental clinic or office to remind you which hepatitis is the worst before any medical or oral care appointment.
For The Patient
An oral care procedure may either involve invasive tools or close contact work. Hence, the mouth, full of saliva, may be dangerous if the person has an infectious disease. It is the responsibility of the patient to disclose any medical record of hepatitis. Furthermore, if the patient sees the symptoms early, a doctor may diagnose and identify if the virus is hepatitis-related. It may be best to prevent the disease by showing their medical history before the session starts.
Dental Offices And Clinics
Occupational safety and hazard prevention policies are required for any kind of job. But, it can be one of the worst days of a dental practitioner if he or she has no idea what to do when a patient or a coworker has hepatitis. Since there is a higher chance of acquiring hepatitis through blood, body fluids and needles, sterilization is the priority before any operation. Particularly, a patient that may need anesthesia for a tooth extraction should have needles sterilized through an autoclave. Furthermore, necessary protection equipment such as face masks, gloves, protective eyewear, etc. is advised. Cleaning and disinfecting rooms, surfaces, and the floor may also help in infection control.
Further Prevention And Management Of Hepatitis
Precaution for any personnel may start from a vaccination as well. A reputable clinic should always maintain the safety of their employees first. Hepatitis vaccination is usually the requirement for any medical or dental practitioner. Moreover, if there is already an exposure and infection, the hospital should trace those in contact with the patient or the staff to prevent an outbreak. Professional practice is also crucial when dealing with extractions, implants, and standard surgery procedures. Long term infected patients may even have no symptoms, so a liver health record may disclose which hepatitis is the worst during dental practice.