Alzheimer's Disease, graphic of paper brain with three light bulbs

Oral Health and Alzheimer’s Disease: Research and Prevention

November 22, 2023 9:00 am

As the years go on, new connections are discovered between oral health and overall health. More and more, Alzheimer’s disease and oral health care seem to be linked. Curious how maintaining good oral health may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease? Keep reading!

The Oral-Brain Connection

Did you know there is a significant link between poor oral health and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease? The connection between oral health and cognition is primarily based on the role of oral bacteria in the development of brain-related conditions.

When gum disease or periodontitis is present, harmful oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and potentially reach the brain. Once there, these bacteria can trigger an inflammatory response that may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Risk

Studies have shown that individuals with gum disease and periodontitis are at noticeably higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The research suggested that the bacteria associated with gum disease can release toxins that contribute to brain inflammation and the accumulation of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.

Preventing Cognitive Decline From Impacting Oral Health

Beyond the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s, poor oral health is also associated with cognitive decline in older adults. Understanding the connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease underscores the importance of preventive oral care. Here are some strategies to maintain good oral health:

  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Early detection and treatment of gum disease can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Proper Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
  • Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can support good oral health and overall well-being.
  • Oral Care Screenings for Seniors: Special attention to oral hygiene is crucial for seniors, as they are more susceptible to gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Stay Hydrated: A dry mouth can contribute to oral health issues. Drink plenty of water to maintain moisture in the mouth.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Petaluma, CA

The connection between dental health and Alzheimer’s disease still continues to develop new findings. However, as we age, it’s essential to prioritize oral care not only for a beautiful smile but also for a potentially reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Contact Alma Dental Care today to get started in prioritizing your smile.

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