A recent article which appeared in the British Journal of Surgery cites a study from the University of Tokyo which indicates that patients undergoing major cancer surgery might reduce their risk of complications by seeing a dentist before their surgery.
Study authors found that patients who visited a dentist were less likely to have post-surgical pneumonia and die within 30 days of surgery.
“Oral care is one option for preventing postoperative pneumonia as postoperative pneumonia can be precipitated by aspiration of oral and pharyngeal secretions,” said lead researcher Miho Ishimaru of the University of Tokyo.
Respiratory germs can grow in biofilms and microorganisms on the surface of the teeth and tongue. Dental care has been found to help reduce pneumonia for patients on ventilators, the researchers wrote in the British Journal of Surgery.