Regular Dental Care Might Prevent Pneumonia

regular dental care prevents pneumonia | dulles dentistWe’ve said it before; we’ll say it again and again: It’s so important to see your Dulles VA dentist twice a year for a check up and cleaning. Keep your teeth and gums healthy, and prevent pneumonia too. What’s that? Yes.

Michelle Doll, MD, leading a research project out of Virginia Commonwealth University, noticed a trend in data taken from the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: People who reported seeing the dentist at least twice a year were as much as 86 percent less likely to contract bacterial pneumonia.

Dr. Doll and her team presented their findings at IDWeek™ 2016 — an annual conference sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) — during which she and co-authors elaborated on the importance of healthy teeth:

“There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health,” said Dr. Doll. “We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present.”

It is important to note that while the chance of contracting bacterial pneumonia is slight (just 1.68 percent of the more than 26,000 surveyed), that risk can be eliminated altogether and all it costs is two hours of your time twice a year. This isn’t the first time, nor likely the last that science will have proven the negative impact poor oral health can have on an individual’s overall health. Colon cancer, heart disease, depression, and now pneumonia too have all been linked to bacterial infection that initiates in the mouth. These can all be prevented, and simply.

…with a visit to your Dulles dentist. Schedule your next check up and cleaning today. Call Loudoun Dental Associates at (703) 621-4751.

Source: Doll M, Kelly K, Ratliff S, et al. Access to Dental Care and Risk of Pneumonia: the Importance of Healthy Teeth. IDWeek 2016 2016.