15 Jul Reduce Pneumonia Risk by Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
When cold and flu season rolls around, many people are concerned that they may develop pneumonia. Although pneumonia is mostly a nuisance in younger people, the elderly are more drastically effected and can even die from it. With the Baby Boomer generation hitting retirement age en masse over the next couple of decades, pneumonia is a major concern.
One easy and proactive way to help prevent the risk of pneumonia is through the practice of good oral health. A study released by the Yale University School of Medicine further solidified a link between bacteria that grow in poor oral conditions and their affect on the lungs. Lung infections like pneumonia were found to develop and worsen in those who had poor dental health and greater mortality rates were also found in people who had more severe oral problems.
Lung infections can more easily occur when bacteria, fungal agents and their toxic byproducts are allowed to grow and multiply in the mouth due to poor oral hygiene. These microscopic agents are released from their incubatory nests of infected gums and dental caries and are breathed into the lungs where they can continue to thrive. Aspiration pneumonia is one such ailment that can develop through this process.
The development of pneumonia and other lung infections can be greatly lessened by practicing simple good oral health procedures. Dentists recommend brushing teeth twice daily for at least two minutes each time using a toothpaste containing fluoride. It is also advised to floss between teeth before each brushing in order to rid bacteria and plaque that tends to stick in these hard to reach places. Also, reduce sugar intake and avoid tobacco and alcohol use.
To ensure that your mouth and teeth remain healthy, you should make at least two dental appointments yearly for maintenance and early detection of oral problems. A dental professional can eliminate tartar buildup more thoroughly, provide expert instruction on dental care and rapidly cease and repair any damages that may have started through various oral problems.
Reducing your risk of acquiring pneumonia can be as easy as practicing good oral health and that is a major plus during each cold and flu season.
Want to see all the other health issues that can stem from not taking care of your teeth? Check out our interactive dental resource! It’ll change the way you think about oral health!