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Oral Health and Risk of Pneumonia

oral health and risk of pneumoniaAlthough further research is needed in order to prove a definitive link, preliminary studies have shown that there may be a connection between pneumonia and a person’s oral health. The belief is that the respiratory disease is a result of inhaling tiny particles that reside in the mouth and throat. Pneumonia is most likely to occur in people with a weak immune system, which puts the elderly and young children particularly at risk.

Scientists have found that the development of pneumonia is preceded by certain changes to the bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, these changes could be linked to the development of pneumonia in certain individuals. Discovering a concrete connection could help reduce the rate at which pneumonia develops. There are over 620,000 people in the United Kingdom are living with pneumonia, and approximately 5% in that group will not survive.

Until a link can be proven, it is a good idea to take care of your oral health in general. You should brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal, and you should floss your teeth at least once a day to remove bacteria and food particles caught between be teeth and gums. You should also schedule a professional dental cleaning once every six months so that a professional can take a look at your oral health and recommend any areas for improvement. You should maintain a healthy diet that is low in sugary foods and drinks. And if you notice any abnormalities such as bleeding gums or loose teeth, you should see a dental professional right away.

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