Brushing Teeth Could Save Lives In Nursing Homes

Something as simple as brushing teeth could help save lives in nursing homes.

Medical research being published in the journal, Chest, points to dental plaque as a source of germs that can be inhaled, leading to pneumonia.

The University of Buffalo’s Doctor Ali El-Solh headed the study.

He says more research is needed to determine whether brushing or rinsing a patient’s teeth or dentures is sufficient to destroy the germs. But he says the study makes a strong case for better dental care in nursing homes.

Other studies have pointed to a connection between germs in the mouth and conditions ranging from heart disease to premature births.

One tooth-disease expert says he’s not surprised nursing home residents may be particularly at risk because he says some of them have no oral hygiene at all.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 9, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.