Research Shows Good Dental Hygiene Can Prevent Pneumonia

A study from Michelle Doll, M.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University, suggests that regular dental checkups can significantly reduce the risk of contracting bacterial pneumonia. Furthermore, research shows that individuals who forgo their biannual dental appointments have twice the risk of pneumonia as those who go twice a year. According to Doll, the connection between bacterial pneumonia and dental hygiene is sensible; the mouth directly links to the lungs, making aspiration of bacterial species easy for those who do not maintain their oral hygiene.

The definitive study shows that of the 441 people who had an episode of bacterial pneumonia from a 27,128 pool, 45.9% did not have yearly dental checkups and were less likely to have dental insurance. The study suggests that even those who had dental checkups less regularly (once a year as opposed to biannually) were less likely to contract pneumonia. The research was conducted in partnership with four major health organizations, including 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).

Dental hygiene affects most bodily functions and health factors, making it pivotal to undergo regular checkups and cleanings. If you are in need of professional dental care, reach out to Dr. Sid K. Steadman D.D.S. at (512) 259-3365 for information about our practice and the services we offer.