Excessive alcohol intake, anesthesia, sedatives, reduced levels of alertness and aging are causes of aspiration pneumonia, claims Healthline. A comatose state, poor gag reflex after a stroke or brain injury, and old age are also causes, according to MedlinePlus.
Aspiration pneumonia causes inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes after inhaling foreign matters such as food or liquid, says Healthline. People most at risk for aspiration pneumonia include those with a history of stroke, dental problems, neurological diseases and lung disease. Having a swallowing dysfunction, breathing problems, history of vomiting, and a chronic illness that prevents proper chewing also increases the risk for aspiration pneumonia.