Oral Microbiome Important For Geriatric Health

It is particularly important for elderly patients to see their dentist in Guildford, recent research has revealed.

It had been known for a long time that poor oral health could contribute to the likelihood of certain diseases, but it was not understood why.

Now research into the microbiome has revealed that people with poor oral health are more likely to be exposed to dangerous bacteria that can lead to infections in older people, such as pneumonia.

It seems that the adage many doctors had about ‘clean teeth clean lungs’ is in fact true, according to the latest data from the American Study for Microbiology.

"Fewer teeth, poorer dental hygiene, and more dental caries (cavities) are closely related to dysbiotic shift in the tongue microbiota composition, which might be harmful to the respiratory health of elderly adults with swallowing problems," said corresponding author Yoshihisa Yamashita, PhD, DDS, Section of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, Division of Oral Health, Growth, and Development, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka.

The research was done into the microbiome of the tongue, and showed that a shift in the normal tongue microbiome is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia. This is often seen in frail, elderly adults in care homes or other institutions, making research into this area particularly important.

The microbiomes of over 500 adults aged 70 to 80 in the town of Hisayama, Japan were collected for the study, during health checks.