Can My Oral Health Affect My Lungs Too?

How Can My Oral Health Be Linked to a Lung Condition?

Dr. Yoshihisa Yamashita and his team of scientists investigated the effects of dental hygiene on seniors by looking at oral microbiota. Microbiota, according to the team, is important for overall health because the bacteria we ingest into our bodies can affect our health over time. The authors of the research explain that the microbiota on our tongue can reach our gut, which can cause a variety of health conditions.

The study also showed that seniors are particularly likely to inhale these microorganisms into their lungs. This accidental inhalation can lead to pulmonary infections such as pneumonia. During the study, the researchers used an advanced system to target and examine the composition and density of the seniors’ microbiota. The main bacteria that was found can cause pneumonia. These bacteria were found in seniors with more plaque, cavities, and fewer teeth.
The results of the study suggest that senior adults with poorer oral hygiene ingest a more “dysbiotic microbiota” on the tongue. Dysbiosis refers to a microbial imbalance in the gut or tongue, which in relation to this study, can result in a higher risk of a pneumonia-related death.

If you or a family member would like more information on the quality of your oral health and if it could lead to other medical conditions, please contact Dr. Raymond Lim at Dental Smiles of Willow Glen. We can restore your oral health and give your whole family a healthy smile.