Against pneumonia, the importance of a healthy mouth

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Against pneumonia, the importance of a healthy mouth

People who do not visit the dentist regularly are more likely to suffer from pneumonia. Indeed, the bacteria responsible for this lung infection are present in the mouth, say, American researchers, hence the importance of good dental hygiene.

Against pneumonia, the importance of a healthy mouth
Against pneumonia, the importance of a healthy mouth

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that can be caused by several types of germs: bacteria, viruses or fungi. Most often, it is a bacterium called “pneumococcus” that causes it. The bacteria responsible for pneumonia are transmitted from person to person during coughing, sneezing, blowing or by close contact and contaminated hands, and also by objects contaminated by secretions of the nose or throat.

It is for this reason that hygiene measures are needed to prevent their spread. However, researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States put forward another less familiar prevention gesture: taking care of one’s mouth and, in particular, visiting the dentist twice a year.

Their study, presented at the annual congress of the national infectious diseases societies, highlights an important link. The researchers analyzed data from the 2013 Medical Panel Expenditure Survey, relating to health care ( including dental care ) costs to the latter and customer satisfaction.

Bacteria from the mouth migrate to the lungs

Of the 26,246 people in this database, 441 were found to have bacterial pneumonia (1.68%), and those who did not request dental examinations had a 86% higher risk of Suffer from this pathology compared to those who had an appointment twice a year at the dentist. If the association may seem surprising, the explanation is very simple.

The body contains ten times more microbes and bacteria than human cells, present from the skin to the gastrointestinal system, including the mouth. In some cases, the bacteria that usually cause pneumonia are present on this part of the body and can be accidentally inhaled into the lungs and cause disease. Hence the importance of a routine dental visit to reduce their quantity.

“There is a well-documented link, and dental, medical visits are essential for maintaining good oral health,” explains Dr. Michelle Doll, lead author of the study. “We can not rid our mouths of all these bacteria, but a good one Oral hygiene may limit their amounts .”

The risk also includes heart disease

This link is also mentioned by Medicare, which states that “generally the germs present in the air into the lungs through the respiratory tract during breathing. However, they can come to the oral cavity or ENT (Ear -rhino and throat). ”

“Our study provides additional evidence that oral health is linked to overall health and suggests that it is important to incorporate this type of care into routine preventive health care,” the researcher concludes.

In France, the UFSBD * recommends a visit to the dentist at least once a year. Other recommendations include using fluoride toothpaste, two brushing a day for two minutes, and a balanced diet.

A good oral hygiene not only limits the risk of pneumonia but also prevents the onset of heart disease for the same reasons. “Unhealthy caries just like a diseased gum are real entrance doors for bacteria or toxins,” says the UFSBD. Because just like the lungs, the heart can be affected by bacteria present in the mouth, which have migrated via the bloodstream.

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