Pneumonia. One million Americans get the infection every year, and 50,000 die from it. Anyone can get it, according to a recent report in

Research shared Amanda MacMillan in


Smile Makers offer fun recall cards through

the article shows that twice-yearly dental visits may reduce levels of dangerous, pneumonia-causing bacteria in the mouth.

We’re preaching to the choir, right? As dental caregivers you already know this.

But if findings from studies such as this one, based on the health records of more than 26,000 people nationwide, can convince your patients to think twice, and visit twice, why not share it with them in the form of a gentle reminder recall card (shown)?

According to the report:

” ‘There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia,’ said lead author Michelle Doll, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, in a press release. ‘We can never rid the mouth of bacteria altogether, but good oral hygiene can limit the quantities of bacteria present.’

The body contains 10 times as many microbes (including bacteria, fungi, and viruses) as it does human cells, she explains. Most of those microbes aren’t harmful (or they are even beneficial), and even the dangerous ones cause disease only under certain circumstances. In the case of bacteria that cause pneumonia, for example, they have to be inhaled to cause an infection. Getting regular cleanings and checkups may reduce the amount of these bacteria, says Dr. Doll, and the odds you’ll breathe them into your lungs.”

Read the full report at: