- Infrequent denture cleaning by community-dwelling older adults (aged ≥65 years) is associated with a higher probability of pneumonia, according to a population-based cross-sectional survey in Japan.
Why this matters
- The mechanism might be build-up of a microorganism-rich biofilm (denture plaque) that is aspirated, causing aspiration pneumonia.
- First study of its kind suggests that more frequent denture cleaning could prevent pneumonia.
- Population-based cross-sectional survey in Japan of community-dwelling elders (n=71,227).
- Funding: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan; others.
- Among all participants, the incidence of pneumonia within the last year was 2.3% among those who cleaned their dentures daily and 3.0% among those who did not clean them daily.
- Nondaily (vs daily) cleaning was associated with a 30% increase in pneumonia risk (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.68).
- Among those aged ≥75 years, the incidence of pneumonia within the last year was 2.9% among those who cleaned their dentures daily and 4.3% among those who did not clean them daily.
- Nondaily (vs daily) cleaning was associated with a 58% increase in pneumonia risk (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.15-2.17).
- No differences between groups among 65-74-year-old patients.
- Cross-sectional, observational design.
- Self-reported incidence of pneumonia may cause reporting bias.