Toothbrushing seen to Reduce Pneumonia rates in Hospitalized patients

In a recent study to check the link between Toothbrushing and Pneumonia, it has been found that regular Toothbrushing in Hospitalized patients has seen a drastic reduction in Pneumonia rates in these patients. In a Research conducted in Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute which involved 2700 patients in 15 randomized clinical trials, it was discovered that daily toothbrushing in hospitalized patients have reduced hospital acquired pneumonia rates considerably. The patients who were mainly checked are Ventilated patients (patients on Mechanical Ventilation)  who are the most prone to Hospital acquired Pneumonia.

Based on this it can also be said that Regular Toothbrushing without fail has helped in reducing Mortality rate to a great extent. Pointing out the importance of this study, Michael Klompas, MD, MPH, who is the hospital epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist, said identifying a straightforward and budget friendly preventive measure within the realm of hospital medicine is a great breakthrough in saving lives.

Toothbrushing reducing pneumonia in hospitalized patients

It has been seen that Hospital acquired pneumonia is instigated by bacteria from the mouth infiltrating the airways and infecting the lungs, poses a particular threat to frail or immunocompromised patients. So brushing teeth daily in bed ridden patients which is mostly neglected has been found to be very effective in reducing hospital acquired pneumonia.

Regular toothbrushing has also been found to reduce the days of mechanical ventilation and reduced the ICU stay duration to a great extent. With such positive and great benefits from such a small and simple thing as Toothbrushing, implementing it and including it as a compulsory routine to be followed in Hospitalized patients will potentially help in reducing the ICU Stay, life threatening conditions such as Pneumonia is seriously ill patients reduce a great deal.

With not just Hospitalized patients but with any Ill patients it is important to teach them the importance of Regular Toothbrushing which will greatly reduce the chances of getting Pneumonia from bacteria which are commonly seen in the Oral Cavity.

Source: The study, “Association Between Daily Toothbrushing and Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia,” was published December 2023 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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