Oral health plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being. Recent research highlights a potential connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, a progressive dementia type. While the exact relationship remains under investigation, some studies indicate that individuals with gum disease have a 70% greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. Moreover, those with numerous missing teeth face an elevated risk of cognitive decline.
The underlying mechanisms of this connection are not entirely clear. However, researchers theorize that the inflammation from gum disease, coupled with the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the body and to the brain, may be contributing factors. This inflammation and bacterial migration can potentially harm brain cells, facilitating the onset of Alzheimer’s.
To minimize these risks, maintaining diligent oral hygiene is crucial. Regular brushing, flossing, dental check-ups, and treating gum issues promptly are essential preventive measures. Additionally, a holistic approach to health, encompassing a balanced diet, consistent physical activity, sufficient sleep, and stress management, further reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
While the research is ongoing, integrating wise oral health practices with a wholesome lifestyle can not only decrease Alzheimer’s susceptibility but also enhance one’s overall health. If you’d like more information regarding Alzheimer’s disease, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association. If you’re due for a visit to our office, please call 828.631.3283 or request an appointment online.
David S. McGuire, DDS