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Gum Disease: Respiratory Diseases

Bacterial respiratory infections are thought to be acquired through the inhalation of fine droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. These droplets contain germs that breed and multiply within the lungs causing damage. Recent research suggests bacteria found in the throat and mouth can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract causing infections or worsening existing lung conditions. People with respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, typically suffer from reduced protective systems making it difficult to eliminate bacteria from the lungs.

Scientists have found that bacteria growing in the oral cavity can be inhaled into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. This discovery leads researchers to believe respiratory bacteria may travel from the oral cavity into the lungs.