Seeing the dentist won’t just keep your teeth white and healthy, new findings suggest that dental cleaning may improve lung health, too. The findings uncovered that regular dental cleaning can reduce the risk of pneumonia by reducing bacteria that can lead to lung infections.
Roughly one million Americans develop pneumonia each year and roughly 50,000 patients die as a result of it. With pneumonia being most deadly among seniors, it makes regular visits to dentist that much more important.
Study author Dr. Michelle Doll explained, “There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health. Our study provides further evidence that oral health is linked to overall health, and suggests that it’s important to incorporate dental care into routine preventive health care.”
Although it is impossible to completely eliminate bacteria in the mouth, regular dental cleaning does help reduce the risk of harmful bacteria entering the lungs.