Dentures that aren’t properly and routinely cleaned may lead to the accumulation of harmful bacteria that can cause pneumonia, according to U.K.-based research published on June 21 in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.
A team led by Cardiff University researchers found higher concentrations of pneumonia-causing microbes on the surfaces of dentures in people with pneumonia compared to people without the respiratory disease.
Bacterial pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. About 19 % of the U.K. population wears a full or partial removable denture, according to the study. Previous reports have suggested that colonization of the oral cavity by putative respiratory pathogens places denture wearers at an increased risk of developing a respiratory infection.
In a cohort of 61 patients, the Cardiff University team sought to characterize the composition of bacteria in denture-wearing patients living in care homes who did not have pneumonia compared to hospitalized denture wearers who had a confirmed diagnosis. Of the enrolled patients, 26 were hospitalized with pneumonia while 35 patients did not have a respiratory infection (J Med Microbiol, June 21, 2023).
The researchers took mouth, tongue, and denture swabs from the hospitalized patients who had pneumonia and wore dentures. They then compared the results to samples taken from denture-wearing patients in care homes who did not have pneumonia. From there, they analyzed the samples to identify the abundance and types of microbes present.
The team found a more than twentyfold increase in the bioburden of putative respiratory pathogens. The findings suggest that those who wear dentures could inhale saliva containing harmful microbes into their lungs, which could lead to infection.
However, the researchers cautioned that while there is evidence of an association between wearing dentures and contracting pneumonia, this study is an “early step” in uncovering the mechanisms of such events. Still, they recommended that people who wear partial or full dentures regularly attend dental checkups and learn best practices in dental health, including denture maintenance.
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References, Article Link: : https://www.drbicuspid.com/dental-specialties/smile-design/dentures/article/15541361/can-wearing-dirty-dentures-increase-your-risk-of-contracting-pneumonia?braze_int_id=641337018bf8ba0001aa87cd&braze_ext_id=63d7f0ea19ef38833c4d4a18