Healthy Mouth Healthy Body?

Respiratory Disease

Residents of long-term care facilities are often at a greater risk of developing respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia. Poor oral hygiene has been suggested as one possible reason for this development. It is believed that bacteriawhich can cause respiratory disease are present in dental plaque. Previous studies have demonstrated a reduced incidence of respiratory disease development in patients who had daily oral hygiene performed while in long-term care facilities. A recent study examined the levels of respiratory pathogens present in the dental plaque of patients in a long-term care facility. The investigators found that the dental plaque can be a source of respiratory pathogens, and suggest that oral hygiene protocols be instituted to reduce the development of respiratory disease in this population of patients.

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