"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Brushing teeth reduces risk of pneumonia in hospital: study

December 19, 2023 – Sometimes hospitalization results in the event of a brand new health problem. About one in 100 people develop pneumonia while within the hospital. However, a brand new study reports that brushing your teeth while hospitalized significantly reduces the prospect of developing a potentially life-threatening infection.

Specifically, the study showed that hospital patients who couldn’t breathe on their very own and were receiving mechanical ventilation therapy were less prone to develop pneumonia once they brushed their teeth twice day by day. Brushing teeth was also related to a lower likelihood of death within the ICU, shorter ICU stays, and shorter ventilator time.

The Results were published within the magazine on Monday JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from about 2,800 hospitalized people, comparing those that remained within the intensive care unit with those that didn’t. There was no significant reduction in the chance of developing pneumonia in hospital amongst patients not treated within the intensive care unit. There was also no further risk reduction when brushing teeth greater than twice day by day.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is often brought on by oral microorganisms that enter the lungs through a process called aspiration, akin to when saliva by chance enters the airways as a substitute of being swallowed.

“The signal we see here toward lower mortality is striking — it suggests that regular tooth brushing in the hospital can save lives,” said researcher Michael Klompas, MD, MPH, an infectious diseases physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in a single opinion.

“In the world of preventive hospital medicine, it’s rare to find something like this that is both effective and affordable,” Klompas said. “Instead of a new device or medication, our study shows that something as simple as brushing your teeth can make a big difference.”