Can flossing cause a knee infection? According to medical experts, a woman in the United States got a nasty bacterial infection in her prosthetic knee due to her regular flossing.
Medicos said in a report of her case published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, the woman from Wisconsin, who had gone through knee-replacement operation five years earlier, landed at the hospital emergency room with chills and a painful right knee.
The report states that her knee was infected with Streptococcus gordonii, a bacterium that is typically found in the mouth.
The woman told doctors that she had voluntarily begun a vigorous dental flossing, with bleeding from her gums as a result. Doctors suppose that it's likely that the bacteria spread from the mouth, through her bloodstream and onto the knee implant.
"This bacteria lives in the mouth, [but doctors] happened to find it in a place where we don't typically find it, which is the knee joint," said Dr Ala Dababneh, an infectious diseases doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
The doctors operated upon the woman's knee, removing as much of the bacteria as possible.