February 21, 2024

Dentures can be a breeding ground for pneumonia-causing germs health

Dentures can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can increase the risk of pneumonia in the elderly. This is what a study published last Wednesday (21) in the journal Journal of Medical Microbiology.

A team led by specialists from Cardiff University in the UK collected mouth, tongue and dentures samples from 26 elderly people who had been hospitalized with pneumonia. The researchers then compared the results with samples from 35 elderly people without respiratory infections who wore dentures but lived in nursing homes.

Scientists sought to learn about the abundance and types of microorganisms in the groups. They concluded that there are more respiratory pathogens, such as bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae, In dentures for patients with pneumonia.

“We were expecting to see a difference, but we were surprised to see 20 times as many pneumonia-causing bacteria on the dentures of people with pneumonia as compared to people without,” said Josh Twigg, lead author of the study. in the current situation.

According to the researchers, the findings “support previous observational studies that found denture wearers are at increased risk of developing respiratory infections.”

Twigg and his team speculate that acrylic biomaterials for dentures, if not cleaned properly, can be a breeding ground for disease-causing microorganisms. This means that people who wear dentures may breathe in saliva containing harmful microbes into their lungs, where infection can occur.

However, Twigg has a caveat. “You definitely can’t say people got pneumonia because they had dentures,” he says. “The study just shows that there is an association there.”

For the research authors, further analyzes are needed. However, Twigg already believes that the public can learn from the results of his work and that of his team. “Our research has shown that there are potentially harmful microbial communities in dentures. It is important to clean dentures well,” he recommends.