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Prevent Pneumonia by Brushing 


Article by AmeFaulkner

Photography by Ame Faulkner

We all know that we are supposed to brush our teeth regularly to prevent cavities. But, did you know that failing to brush your teeth regularly can actually increase your risk of Pneumonia and other serious illnesses? If you don’t have great oral hygiene now, it may be time to rethink your dental habits.

The germs that are our mouths quickly multiply and can transfer from your mouth to other parts of your body. It is common that the germs from your mouth can flow down into your lungs while you are sleeping. If the germs entering your lungs become excessive and are untreated, they can cause Pneumonia.

The reason the mouth attracts so much of the bad bacteria is because of our dental plaque. The sticky plaque is almost like a reservoir where bacteria such as Staphylococcus can occur and can infect other areas. When we brush our teeth, we remove the biofilm, which is where the yucky germs are. There are countless studies that have determined that increasing your dental hygiene can reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia.

So, what can you do to prevent illness caused from the bacteria in your mouth? Make sure you have healthy dental habits. Like every dentist says, make sure you are brushing and flossing twice a day. Brushing with an electric tooth brush will help destroy the bad bacteria in your mouth quicker and more thorough than a manual toothbrush. But if you are effective with a manual toothbrush, that will work too. Flossing will absolutely help eliminate any sneaky bacteria that like to hide in between your teeth.

Being seen for your routine dental cleanings is a must! Your dentist and hygienist will be able to remove any noticeable and unnoticeable plaque and bacteria from your mouth for you. Your hygienist will also be able to educate you and offer some helpful tips to make sure you are keeping your mouth as healthy as possible. Your dentist will also review your X-Rays to make sure there’s not bacteria below the visible surface that needs to be removed.

People with Periodontal Disease have a higher risk of traveling bacteria affecting other parts of the body. So, if you are a patient with Periodontal Disease, we recommend seeing your hygienist at least every 4 months. 

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