Research shows that gum disease can increase the likelihood of developing respiratory problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia, especially in those who are elderly, live in a nursing home or have other health conditions.
Tongue bacteria examined by Japanese scientists in a research study showed a correlation between gum disease and the development of pneumonia and other respiratory diseases in elderly patients.
Another study showed one in 10 deaths from pneumonia among nursing home residents could have been prevented with better dental hygiene, according to the Journal of Dental Research.
Severe respiratory problems are a hallmark of COVID-19, with about one in five COVID-19 patients developing these complications, according to the California Dental Association. A recent study showed that people with gum disease may be at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 respiratory problems.
To prevent respiratory problems, make sure you’re following six essential steps to keep your mouth healthy.