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Are Teeth a Reservoir For Respiratory Pathogens? Pneumonia and influenza are currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 65,984 deaths occurring in 2002, for an overall death rate of 22.9 per 100,000 population.1 In the elderly, defined as age ≥ 65 years, pneumonia and influenza are the fifth leading cause of death, with 59,235 deaths and an overall death rate of 166.4 per 100,000.
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