Teeth brushing may reduce the risk of developing pneumonia, according to a study by Yale University researchers.

Changes in oral bacteria play some role in the risk of developing pneumonia, according to the study's lead author Dr. Samit Joshi. The study from the university's School of Medicine involved 37 participants participating over the course of a month.

"Our findings may improve the way we prevent pneumonia in the future by maintaining the bacteria that live within our mouths," Joshi said.

Researchers pointed out that brushing for teeth two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and flossing is a good starting point.

In 2007, 1.2 million people in the U.S. were hospitalized with pneumonia and more than 52,000 people died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).