The Link Between Gum Disease & Alzheimer's

The Link Between Gum Disease & Alzheimer's

How Your Oral Health Impacts Your Risks of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Our mouth plays host to over 700 different types of bacteria, many of which can harm our dental health and lead to gum disease or tooth loss. However, some of these bacteria may be linked to other diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Here’s what you should know.

Can Oral Bacteria Lead to Dementia?

In a recent study by NIA scientists, it was suggested that the bacteria that cause gum disease may also be associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias — especially vascular dementia.

How? Gum disease caused by poor dental hygiene and other risk factors can lead to bleeding and swollen gums over time, eventually worsening to periodontal disease. At this stage, a patient risks gum recession and tooth loss if not treated. This leaves them vulnerable to bacteria and other inflammatory molecules in their mouth traveling through the bloodstream, ultimately leading to the brain.

Gum Disease & Older Adults

The study also found that patients 65 years or older with signs of gum disease and mouth diseases were more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Just like taking care of your overall well-being, taking care of your oral health is vital as you age to prevent serious diseases and conditions.

Some signs of gum disease that you should be mindful of include:

  • Swollen, red, or sensitive gums.
  • Chronic bad breath.
  • Visible pus between your teeth.
  • Teeth beginning to loosen.

You should visit your dentist frequently for cleanings and keep up with your dental hygiene routine at home to prevent gingivitis and other conditions that could be detrimental to your health.

To book your next dental cleaning and check-up, contact our team at Robert A. Neal, DDS Family Dentistry today: (972) 200-0656

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