As readers of our Dentist In Colorado Springs Blog know, maintaining and improving your oral health means far more than just protecting the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Studies have found compelling links between an individual’s oral health and a range of chronic health problems that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
The results of these studies paint a compelling picture that shows the interconnected nature of our bodies. What happens in one region greatly impacts another in ways we might never have thought of before.
One such interaction is how the treatment of tooth decay may actually impact the health of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Pneumonia ranks as a common health condition patients with Parkinson’s develop. Now, a new study that explores the risk factors for the development of pneumonia has discovered that patients treated for tooth decay may have a lower risk of developing pneumonia when compared to patients who have not received treatment.
Examining the Connection
The study examined over 2,000 Taiwanese participants newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease between the years 2000 and 2009. Over an average follow-up period of roughly six years, 19 percent of the patients were hospitalized for pneumonia.
When examining the status of their oral health, researchers discovered that dental diseases were among the most common conditions listed among participants. Roughly 48 percent of patients involved in the study suffered from tooth decay and over 44 percent suffered from periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease.
Furthermore, the data also indicated that the rates of pneumonia in patients who had received treatment for tooth decay was lower. This led researchers to conclude that practicing quality oral hygiene and eliminating plaque from the mouth reduce the number of potential respiratory pathogens, thereby also lowering an individual’s risk of pneumonia, especially among senior men.
The researchers found that senior patients, especially males, patients living in certain regions of Taiwan, and patients with lower household incomes also had a higher risk of developing pneumonia.
The Mouth/Body Connection
This study only helps to further expand what we will undoubtedly continue to cover in the Dentist In Colorado Springs Blog – that our oral and overall health is linked in ways we never possibly imagined.
What this type of research makes clear is our need to treat the state of our oral health as just as important as the health of our heart, lungs, kidney, liver, etc. This means brushing and flossing daily and scheduling regular visits to see our team at Four Seasons Dental Care should never be ignored or put off till tomorrow. A healthy mouth means a healthier body.