How Your Dentist May Prevent Pneumonia

Pneumonia risk was lower in people who had regular dental visits

(RxWiki News) Seeing your dentist on a regular basis may lower your risk of having bacterial pneumonia, according to an unpublished study presented at a conference.

And the authors of this study believe that could be because good dental care reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth that can travel down to the lungs.

In fact, compared to those who visited a dentist twice a year, those who never went to the dentist were more likely to get pneumonia, this study found.

"There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health," said lead study author Michelle Doll, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, in a press release. "We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present."

The researchers behind this study looked at health data from more than 26,000 people.

Talk to your dentist about how to keep up your dental hygiene.

This study was presented recently in New Orleans at IDWeek 2016. Information on funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication. 

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Review Date: 
November 2, 2016