Most people know that when you don’t brush your teeth you put yourself at risk of having plaque buildup or getting a cavity. But there is a new risk that scientists have just discovered when you don’t brush your teeth regularly. Not removing the plaque from your teeth on a regular basis it seems could be putting you at risk of catching pneumonia according to a new study.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently held their annual meeting in Boston where Samit Joshi, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, presented his study on this matter. He discovered in his research that changes in the types of oral bacteria that people have in their mouths could put them at risk for developing pneumonia. One of the most common risks discovered in Joshi’s research was poor oral hygiene. Joshi even stated that the risk of pneumonia could double for those who have severe gum diseases.

In the study conducted by Joshi, thirty seven patients’ oral health was analyzed. The researchers made sure that the patients came from a variety of backgrounds and ages, with varying levels of health backgrounds. The subjects were looked at over a period of one month. What the research data showed was that not very many of the patients actually acquired pneumonia, but those who did had an increase in the number of oral bacteria that are now being associated with pneumonia.

“Our findings might improve the way we prevent pneumonia in the future by maintaining [the types of] the bacteria which live within our mouths,” Joshi said in an interview with the Global Medical News Network (GMNN).

Joshi’s intention in creating this study was not to demonstrate the direct relationship between pneumonia and the bacteria, and therefore the results of the experiment are inconclusive. But the researchers involved are hoping that the experiment will be reproduced by others in larger independent studies in order to determine the exact relationship of these bacteria to the acquisition of pneumonia.

The findings of the study led the British Dental Health Foundation to issue a press release about the harmful effects about not brushing and the risk of pneumonia. The British Dental Health Foundation is an oral health charity.

“During the winter months we’re all susceptible to colds, coughs and chesty viruses due to the drop in temperature,” Nigel Carter, the foundation’s chief executive, said in an interview in The Telegraph. “What people must remember, particularly those highlighted as vulnerable, is that prevention can be very basic.”

It has long been known that gum disease has ill effects on a person’s whole body health, and this new revelation about pneumonia is just one more piece of evidence that shows it. Experts from the Yale School of Medicine are not surprised by the findings of the study. They say that though the study is somewhat predictable, it still has a lot of implications for what we know about oral hygiene.

“Most of the bacterial organisms that cause infections are neighbors of the oral floor,” said a professional at the Yale School of Medicine not affiliated with the study. “There are too many variables to accurately say, but it’s likely that oral microbodies probably impact the development of certain diseases.”

If you are interested in how South Charlotte Dentistry can help you with your oral health please visit our contact us page or call 704-759-0908!

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