Manassas Park Dentist Reduces Risk of Pneumonia

dental care may prevent pneumonia | manassas park dentistJust as sure as fall turns to winter, nearly one million Americans will come down with bacterial pneumonia; fifty thousand will die. In a nation of more than 300 million, many think, “Ah, I’m healthy. Pneumonia can’t happen to me.” The truth is, it might. But there is a way to greatly reduce your risk of infection and it’s simpler than you might think.

Visit your Manassas Park dentist twice yearly to prevent pneumonia.

So says Michelle Doll, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University’s division of infection disease and lead author of a study entitled “Access to Dental Care and Risk of Pneumonia: the Importance of Healthy Teeth,” which was presented to attendees at IDWeek 2016™. Doll, with her team, analyzed data sets conducted as part of the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and observed that 1.68 percent, or 441 of the 26,246 respondents contracted pneumonia during the study period.

Pneumonia is sometimes caused when bacteria — such as streptococcus, haemophilus, staphylococcus, and other, anaerobic bacteria — is allowed to lurk unchecked in the mouth, and is then inhaled or aspirated into the lungs. As Doll notes, however, prevention is easy with routine visits to your Manassas Park dentist.

“There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good health,” said Michelle Doll, MD. “We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present.”

She continued, “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 healthcare.”

Stay warm and healthy this winter. Contact Railroad Dental Associates at (703) 810-3554 to schedule your next check up and cleaning.