The studies conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University and Yale University School of Medicine suggest that patients who practice good oral health and visit their dentists regularly are less likely to develop pneumonia than those who don’t. Data from over 26,000 patients was used to determine the link between oral health and pneumonia. Of the 26,000 patients followed, 450 were diagnosed with pneumonia at least once during the 2 years of the study. Lack of dental insurance and the “inability to access needed care” were found to be associated with the instances in which patients developed pneumonia.
Interpreting the Findings
“There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health,” stated lead study author Michelle Doll, MD, MPH, in an ID Week press release. “We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present.”