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The Connection Between Oral Care And Pneumonia

We take care of our bodies so that we can better ward off infections and illnesses that could impede our health. But not many people realize that part of that care regimen should be an emphasis on oral hygiene.

Pneumonia is one of the illnesses that physicians are adamant about raising awareness about due to its severity. Every year, 5 to 10 million individuals develop pneumonia, with, on average, 1 million of them developing such a severe case of pneumonia that they require hospitalization. As we age, pneumonia becomes more threatening to our health; weaker immune systems often do not have the energy necessary to fight this illness, which is why pneumonia takes the lives of around 40,000 to 70,000 people each year.

While nursing your physical health is one way to prevent falling prey to pneumonia’s fatal grip, there is another way you can work against pneumonia, and that is through oral care.

Dr. Samit Joshi from Yale University School of Medicine conducted a study of 37 participants lasting one month that found a correlation between harmful bacteria in the mouth resulting from poor oral hygiene and pneumonia.

Physicians are still interested in delving deeper into this research to form a stronger bond between the connection of oral care and of pneumonia, but this research is enough to definitively shine a light on preventative measures that we can implement within our daily lives that can work in sustaining our overall health well into our later years.

Enforcing a systematic approach to better oral hygiene throughout our everyday lives is going to prove invaluable in not only avoiding expensive and painful dental issues, but in keeping other serious health complications at bay. However, one should be even more mindful during the colder months of winter, since we are more prone to illnesses during this time, specifically respiratory conditions like colds, coughs, and other viruses, pneumonia included.

Caring For Your Teeth And Gums

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day using some type of toothpaste containing fluoride.

  • Floss regularly to remove plaque that builds up between teeth.

  • Stop using any products containing tobacco.

  • Avoid sugary drinks and food.

  • See a dentist regularly.

Signs Of Gum Disease

  • Swollen gums that are painful and bleed while brushing your teeth or eating.

  • Extreme bad breath (especially within hours of brushing your teeth).

  • Loose teeth.

  • Developing consistent mouth infections.

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