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Visiting Your Houston Dentist Could Stave Off Pneumonia

At our Houston dental office located in the Heights area, we understand how important the bi-annual dental cleaning is. These thorough dental cleanings remove hardened plaque buildup and help keep gum disease at bay. Our dentists and hygienists are also able to locate problem areas that could cause tooth decay, cavities, and oral bacteria. A recent study conducted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) stated that this oral checkup, if done consistently, could greatly reduce the risk of catching pneumonia.

The IDSA studied a database of more than 26,000 people, of which more than 400 had bacterial pneumonia. The researchers discovered that those who never underwent their bi-annual oral exams increased their risk of catching pneumonia by 86%.

Why Dental Cleanings Help?

When a dental patient undergoes a dental cleaning, the bacteria found in the mouth is cleaned away. Now, this does not mean that all bacteria is removed during the dental cleaning, but it is greatly reduced. This reduction of bacteria is only attainable when being consistent with oral exams.

There are 10 times as many microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) in the body as there are human cells. According to Dr. Michelle Doll, assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the lead author of the study, stated that good oral hygiene won’t remove all of the bacteria, but it can limit the quantity present in the mouth.

That in itself seems to be enough, at least for most people. This may come as a shock, but approximately 50,000 people die every year from pneumonia. According to the numbers behind this research, the mortality could be greatly reduced if everyone undergoes their bi-annual oral exams and dental cleanings.

If you haven’t had your annual oral exam in more than 6 months, then schedule your appointment today at our dental office and begin your bi-annual routine.

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