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How Mouth Bacteria Harm Lungs

Mouth Bacteria

A New published research explains the effects of poor dental hygiene on the respiratory health of elderly people. The recent results talk about importance of the tongue microbiota for our respiratory health.


The new study was carried out by a team of Japanese-based scientists affiliated with the Kyushu University in Fukuoka. Dr. Yoshihisa Yamashita, from the Division of Oral Health, Growth, and Development in the Faculty of Dental Science at Kyushu, is the corresponding author of the study.

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As Dr. Yamashita and his colleagues explain in their paper, the oral microbiota is important for overall health because the bacteria we ingest affect every aspect of our health. Also, explain the authors of the new research, not only do the bacteria in our tongue microbiota reach our guts, but seniors are also particularly likely to inhale some of these microorganisms.


Problems such as difficulty swallowing and cough reflux may cause the elderly to accidentally inhale bacteria that could lead to pulmonary infections such as pneumonia. The main bacteria identified were Prevotella histicola, Veillonella atypica, Streptococcus salivarius, and Streptococcus parasanguinis. Previous studies, say the researchers, have linked these microorganisms with a higher risk of death from pneumonia.

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Source MNT