Regular Dental Visits May Cut Risk of Pneumonia

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 million people in the U.S. are hospitalized with pneumonia every year, and about 50,000 people die from the disease. Most patients who are admitted to the hospital and who succumb to pneumonia are adults.

Now there is new research from the Division of Infectious Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond showing that oral health plays a role in the development of pneumonia. Researchers analyzed a national database of more than 26,000 people from the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a large-scale U.S. study of healthcare utilization and satisfaction among families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers. They found that   people who never get dental checkups have an 86 percent greater risk of contracting pneumonia than those who visit the dentist twice a year.

Our bodies contain 10 times as many microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses) as human cells. Some microbes are good and some are bad. When bad microbes in the mouth get accidentally inhaled or aspirated into the lungs, pneumonia can occur. Bacteria that commonly cause pneumonia include streptococcus, staphylococcus and anaerobic bacteria.

Routine dental visits may reduce the amount of bacteria that can be aspirated, thus lowering the risk for pneumonia.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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