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Respiratory diseases: correct oral hygiene prevents them

oral hygiene

Proper oral hygiene prevents certain systemic diseases, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A correlation, that between the health of our mouth and the well-being of the whole organism, which originates in very ancient times.

respiratory diseases
Abulqasis, Al-Tasrif, 30e vol. Instruments à détartrer (Ms du XIVe siècle, Bibliothèque de l’École de médecine de Montpellier, 89ter [T] )
In the year 1000, an Arab surgeon from Cordoba, Abulqasis drew up a medical encyclopedia in which he gave a lot of space to dentistry (in the image here on the side a nice example of text and illustration dedicated to instruments for the removal of tartar ). The main recommendations regarding correct oral hygiene were already evident in his writings, which were later confirmed by modern dentistry.

Keeping the mouth healthy and clean allows you to avoid the proliferation of bacteria in the oral cavity with harmful consequences for health in general.

Oral hygiene and respiratory diseases

Inaccurate oral hygiene can give rise to periodontitis, a condition whereby the bacterial population present in the mouth can settle permanently between the teeth and gums.

The bacteria in question can be inhaled from the lungs and give rise to respiratory diseases such as: pneumonia, asthma, emphysema.

The mechanism is very simple: during breathing, in the inspiration phase, bacteria reach the respiratory tract causing their infection. In patients who already have pre-existing respiratory disorders, they may worsen their conditions or increase the probability of contracting related diseases, such as allergies.

In recent years, the connection between oral hygiene and respiratory diseases has been confirmed researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine (USA).

They came to these conclusions through the observation of 37 patients for over a month. All people who contracted pneumonia had a significant change in the bacterial composition orally.

During their study they noted that bacterial proliferation within the oral cavity resulted in the development of inflammatory lung disease in hospitalized patients. By keeping the bacterial population in the right balance, pneumonia can therefore be prevented.

proper oral hygiene prevents respiratory diseasesPrevious studies, confirmed by the British Dental Foundation, indicate the greatest risk of dying from pneumonia in the presence of very deep periodontal pockets, in which the concentration of bacteria is very large.

Nigel Carter, contact of the British Dental Foundation commenting the study said: «During the winter months we are all subject to colds, coughs and viruses due to the drop in temperatures. What people need to remember, especially those already highlighted as vulnerable, is that prevention can be very important. Systemic links between gum disease and general health are well documented, and keeping up with good oral health at this time of year can really help avoid disease. ”

In this regard, the World Health Organization, in its Global strategy on non-communicable diseases, also assigns a pre-eminent role to the prevention of dental diseases to significantly reduce the risk that these diseases may in turn be the cause of more serious systemic diseases.

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, reducing sugar consumption, undergoing a professional deep cleaning at least twice a year are the basic advice of any dentist. Listening to them and putting them into practice can also safeguard the health of our respiratory system.

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