Objectives: In dental clinics, dental hygienists are exposed to aerosolized pathologic bacteria, which can be transmitted to the oral cavity via lip cosmetics. Accordingly, such contamination poses a consistent health risk among staffs. Our study examined the bacterial contamination of lip cosmetics used by dental hygienists while in a clinic setting. Methods: Sixteen dental hygienists were surveyed regarding their job assignments and habits associated with lip cosmetic. Subsequently, microorganisms were analyzed in collected samples of the hygienists' lip cosmetics using colony-forming unit (CFU) assays, 16s-rDNA polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing. Results: Notably, 81.3% of the submitted lip cosmetic samples were contaminated, with bacterial CFUs ranging from undetectable to innumerable. Many samples (43.8%) exceeded the microbial limits of cosmetic contamination. Of the lip cosmetic used for more than 6 months, 60% exceeded the microbial limit. When wearing a mask every time, only one of the six samples exceeded the microbial limit. More frequent dental mask changing was associated with a lower likelihood that the cosmetic sample would exceed the microbial limit. No samples from hygienists who changed their masks four times a day exceeded the microbial limit, compared to 33.3% from hygienists who only changed the mask when it became wet. Most isolated bacteria were gram-positive, facultative anaerobic, asporogenic, and opportunistically pathogenic, and the most prevalent species were Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus salivarius, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that dental staff, including dental hygienists, should exercise more careful workplace habits, particularly with regard to infection control and cosmetic use.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Japan Society for Occupational Health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health