May 30, 2018
Are you taking excellent care of your oral health — including your gums? Scientists are continually learning more about the relationship between gum disease, inflammation, and overall well-being, and we know that the former can take a serious toll as we age. One associated condition of gum disease is Alzheimer’s disease. Your dentist in Phillipsburg shares more about the connection — and how to prevent gum disease to protect your overall health — below.
About the Link between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects a person’s ability to remember recent events, regulate their emotions, and more. It is generally a poorly understood disease, but it seems that oral hygiene can play a role in its development.
In 2010, a study from New York University was released after analyzing 20 years of data from the 152 participants of the Glostrup Aging Study in Denmark. By examining the participants’ cognitive function at the age of 50 and again at the age of 70, researchers concluded that those with gum inflammation at the older age also had lower cognitive abilities.
Since the NYU research was published 8 years ago, more studies have been completed — all of which have underscored the apparent link between inflammation of the gums and Alzheimer’s disease. One in particular from 2014 showed that the bacteria causing gum disease was present in the brain tissue — demonstrating that this bacteria is mobile and capable of spreading throughout the body by way of the blood stream. When it makes its way to the brain, cognitive function is impaired and the risk of Alzheimer’s is raised.
Preventing Gum Disease Is Easy
Fortunately, there is an easy way to prevent gum disease and keep your overall health and cognitive function strong — and it’s through excellent oral hygiene! As you age, it becomes even more important to continue brushing and flossing as recommended and visiting your dentist for routine preventive care.
Don’t forget the oral hygiene basics, which include:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day or after each meal
- Using a fluoride toothpaste to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent cavities
- Flossing between teeth at least once a day
- Rinsing your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash for added protection against bacteria
- Visiting your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning
- Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet
- Avoiding cigarettes and tobacco
Gum disease can take a real toll on your overall health — but that’s only if it gets the chance to develop. Talk to your Phillipsburg dentist about gum disease prevention this month!
Meet the Dentists
Dr. Jeffrey R. Martino and Dr. Nelida Garcia-Martino are general dentists offering comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. To learn more about gum disease prevention or to schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning, you are invited to contact the office at 908-859-5260.
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