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Regular dental check-ups may prevent the risk of pneumonia.

I recently read in the press that a study carried out by Virginia Commonwealth University in the US, has identified that people who never get dental checkups had an 86 per cent greater risk of pneumonia than those who visit the dentist twice a year.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection.

Symptoms of pneumonia

Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • A cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Sweating and shivering
  • Loss of appetite

The research

The research identified that regular dental check-ups can help reduce bacteria in the mouth thereby preventing the risk of getting exposed to pneumonia. The research was based on an analysis of a database of more than 26,000 people. Lead researcher, Michelle Doll said:

“There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health,”

Michelle also advised that:

‘We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present”

Poor oral health

It is well known that having poor oral hygiene is a risk factor to other diseases, such as heart disease and type two diabetes. If a person does not maintain their oral health, they can experience problems such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease
  • Recurrent infections
  • Tooth loss

Experiencing these types of problems, can lead to time off work, prolonged pain and suffering and in some it can cause people to be fearful of the dentist. In order to maintain your oral health, it is recommended that you brush twice a day and that you attend the dentist for regular check-ups.

Summary

It appears that maintaining good oral hygiene will prevent a lot of other health problems. Therefore, people should endeavour to maintain their oral hygiene and attend their dentist as and when necessary. This will hopefully lead to less dental problems as well as preventing the risk of other health problems.

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