October 31, 2016
by Ed Cara, Medical Daily
Among the many health benefits of getting your teeth regularly checked? Less pneumonia, suggests new research to be presented at IDWeek 2016, a scientific conference on infectious diseases held annually.
Researchers analyzed data taken from the 2013 version of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which asks households how often they access routine health care services. They found that people who reported seeing their dentists at least twice a year were noticeably less likely to come down with a case of bacterial pneumonia. After accounting for other factors, they estimated that dental visits were associated with a 86 percent lower risk of catching pneumonia.
“There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health,” explained lead author Dr. Michelle Doll, an assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, in a statement. “We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present.”
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