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Sleeping With Dentures More than Doubles Pneumonia Risk

Update Date: Oct 07, 2014 06:18 PM EDT

Sleeping with dentures can double the risk of pneumonia, according to a new study on seniors.

Japanese researchers analyzed links between a variety of oral hygiene behaviors and risk of pneumonia in people 85 years of age or older.

The study involved 524 randomly selected seniors who underwent oral health examinations and medical assessments yearly until first hospitalization for or death from pneumonia.

The study revealed that 41 percent of seniors who wore their dentures during sleep were significantly more likely to develop pneumonia than those who took them out at night.

Furthermore, analysis using a multivariate Cox model linked wearing dentures overnight to a 2.3-fold higher risk of developing pneumonia. Researchers said the pneumonia risk of overnight denture wearing is similar to other risk factors like smoking and respiratory disease.

Lead researcher Toshimitsu Iinuma, Nihon University School of Dentistry and his team concluded that oral inflammation and infections aren't the only problems associated with nighttime denture wearing, the habit can also increase the risk of pneumonia.

The findings are published in the Journal of Dental Research (JDR).

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