Older people are at risk of developing pneumonia if they fail to brush their teeth effectively, according to new findings.
Poor oral health has been associated with respiratory disease for a number of years. Previous studies have linked bacteria in the mouth and throat to infections in the chest.
A new study, conducted by scientists in the USA, investigated 37 people for one month.
The findings showed that changes in bacteria in the mouth preceded the development of lung disease. The results add further evidence to suggest that there is a significant risk to the elderly and young people with poor oral health.
Further research is required to establish more information about the relationship between pneumonia and poor oral health, but experts are warning people to take good care of their teeth and gums to reduce the risk of lung problems.