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Brushing teeth ‘may reduce meningitis risk’

Posted by Allie Wright

Research has shown regular brushing of teeth could help to prevent meningitis.

Tests carried out in Zurich, Switzerland, discovered a new type of bacterium called Streptococcus tigurinus present in the blood of patients suffering from the illness.

This is commonly found in the mouth and regular brushing and flossing could prevent it from getting into a person’s bloodstream if their gums are bleeding.

Dr Andrea Zbinden, who led the study, said Streptococcus tigurinus “seems to have a natural potential to cause severe disease”, although the specific risk it presents is still to be determined.

This could mean dentists want to put some dental patient packs in their surgeries to highlight this issue to their clients.

Meningitis causes tissue around the brain to swell and can be fatal.

This comes just after a survey of adults in the UK found just 22 per cent floss their teeth, while only one-third use mouthwash and 42 per cent make do with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

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