Dentures are extremely helpful for those who have missing teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw or both. They are removable oral appliances that help people in chewing and speaking more easily. While they are helpful, there are chances that they can create some problems as well. According to a study, dentures could play a role in causing pneumonia.
The study said that dentures can lead to pneumonia if not cleaned properly. It said that disease-causing microbes can colonise in uncleaned dentures. In such circumstances, people swallow saliva that contains harmful microbes into their lungs. Researchers from Cardiff University, United Kingdom, said that it can result in infection.
As part of the study, researchers took samples of mouth, tongue and denture swabs from a group of patients that were admitted to a hospital with pneumonia and wore dentures. Researchers compared these samples with denture-wearing people in care homes who did not have pneumonia.
On analysing the samples, researchers identify the abundance and types of microbes present in the samples.
“We were expecting to see a difference but were surprised to see 20 times the number of potentially pneumonia-causing bacteria on dentures in people with pneumonia, compared to people without,” said lead author Dr Josh Twigg, from the university.
Study has been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology
The study, which has been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, said that there is an association between people wearing dentures and getting pneumonia. “You certainly couldn’t say that people got pneumonia because they were wearing dentures. It’s just showing that there is an association there. This research is an early step in trying to unravel that puzzle of what exactly is the sequence of events,” Dr Twigg stressed.
Dr Twigg said that more research will be needed to understand the association properly but the public can still learn from the findings, according to Dr Twigg.