In Hospital: How Brushing Your Teeth Could Save Your Life

In Hospital: How Brushing Your Teeth Could Save Your Life

Cleaning your pearly whites 3 times a day can do wonders, if you’re on a ventilator.

You know that brushing your teeth can save you wads of cash. Dental work can be expensive, especially when problems build up over the years.  But how important is it for your overall health?

Very. Most of us don’t problems in our mouth that have festered for so long they become life- threatening. But if you’re undergoing a hospital stay, things could be different.

It is a fact that ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) develops in about 15% of all people who are put on a ventilator in the hospital. This hospital-borne lung infection can prove fatal.

Related: This Rare Disease Is Spreading and It Could Paralyze You: CDC

People on the ventilators can have a higher resistance to antibiotics, and a lower immune system, resulting in an unexpected and deadly combination.

How do they become infected? When a breathing tube is placed in a patient, it creates a pathway to the lungs. Bacteria travels in the small water droplets. They can travel to the lung and multiply. If a person’s teeth are brushed three times a day however, the amount of bacteria in the mouth is reduced.

This simple answer to a difficult problem was discovered by a team of nurses from Tel Aviv University. Amazingly, it was found that if patients have their teeth brushed frequently, the onset of pneumonia can be reduced by as much as 50%. This was true even for patients who were unconscious.

 

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