- Virginia University researchers identify 86% pneumonia risk among people who never visit the dentist.
- Regular dental visit found to be associated with lower pneumonia risk
- Study highlights the importance of good oral hygiene
Pneumonia is a common infection in the U.S where more than a million are affected every year and 50,000 die because of the infection. This infection is found commonly among people infected with AIDS or any other lung disease, making them susceptible to pneumonia.
‘Having healthy teeth and gums decreases the bad bacteria in the mouth that cause pneumonia (lung infection)’
AdvertisementThe study researchers analyzed a national database of over 26,000 people and found that
- People who never get dental checkup were at an 86% higher risk of getting pneumonia when compared with people who had a dental checkup twice a year.
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
The scientists used the 2013 medical expenditure panel survey which included questions on the utilization of healthcare services, inclusive of dental care, costs that were incurred and the satisfaction levels of patients.
- (1.68 percent) 441 of 26,246 people suffered from bacterial pneumonia.
- People who never went for dental checkup had a risk of pneumonia that was 86% more than people who visited the dentist for checkup at least twice a year.
- Oral pathogens may be aspirated into the lung leading to respiratory infection.
- Gum disease could lead to the presence of certain enzymes in the saliva that change the mucosal lining and promote adhesion of respiratory pathogens, leading to respiratory infections.
- Certain cytokines that are found to originate from the periodontal tissues lead to changes in the respiratory epithelium that could lead to entry of pathogens.
Oral health is considered a mirror to general health, stressing the need to maintain healthy oral practices. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing are essential while dental visits will prevent the colonization of harmful microbes.
- Role of oral bacteria in respiratory infection - (https:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10440642)
- Regular dental visits may help prevent pneumonia, study shows - (https:www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/idso-rdv102516.php)