Link Discovered Between Pneumonia, Oral Hygiene
Discovered Between Pneumonia, Oral Hygiene
Samit Joshi, a postdoctoral fellow in infectious diseases at the Yale
University School of Medicine, reported at the Infectious
Disease Society annual meeting in Boston that poor oral hygiene may be one
of the most common risk factors for pneumonia and that disease risk doubles in
people with severe gum problems and disease. Approximately 3 million Americans
are infected with pneumonia annually. Joshi studied 37 subjects; a study was
not designed to demonstrate the relationship between pneumonia and oral
hygiene. However, findings showed that individuals who developed pneumonia
showed a significant increase in the number of oral bacteria associated with pneumonia.
The findings are significant because they place an even greater emphasis on
oral hygiene. Joshi hopes that another, larger study will replicate his work
and confirm a causal link. The link between gum disease and overall health have
been well-documented. The elderly are considered among the most vulnerable.
Good oral hygiene and health care can improve overall health and may prevent
illnesses like pneumonia.