While we’ve known for a long time that brushing helps ward off bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, there might be other detrimental effects that don’t pop up until later in life. In a 2019 study, researchers at Broegelmanns Research Laboratory discovered that forgetting to brush your teeth can have serious consequences. The researchers found that patients with Alzheimer’s showed neuroinflammation related to the bacteria that cause gingivitis. In the mouth, this bacteria causes gums to become inflamed, tender, swollen, and prone to bleeding.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious periodontal disease, tooth loss, and perhaps Alzheimer’s. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
Even if you’ve been lax about your oral hygiene, there’s still time to turn it around. With proper at-home oral care and regular teeth cleaning, the bacteria that cause gingivitis can be kept in check. Thornton Park Dental Arts provides an array of dental services to help you maintain good oral health, including cosmetic and restorative dentistry, general dentistry, implants, and more!
While we don’t fully understand Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many preventative actions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of developing it. Gingivitis-causing bacteria doesn’t cause Alzheimer’s alone, but it can increase our risk. Any harmful bacteria in our nose and mouth area can be extra detrimental because of its location in relation to our brains. In the case of gingivitis-causing bacteria, the bacteria can move into the brain and produce a protein that destroys nerve cells. This brain damage leads to memory loss and eventually, AD.
People who have a history of gingivitis or gum disease and Alzheimer’s in their family can use this information to reassess oral hygiene routines to give themselves a better chance of beating the odds.
The good news about proper oral hygiene is that it’s about as DIY as it gets. While more serious cosmetic-dentistry concerns should be addressed by a professional dentist, having good oral hygiene starts at home. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time — in addition to flossing once a day — is really all there is to it. However, one’s brushing technique is also important. Knowing the correct way to brush, floss, and care for your gums is paramount.
It’s also helpful to receive professional oral cleanings every six to twelve months. During this time, your dentist can check for any issues and provide feedback on your brushing and flossing habits. Even if you have no natural teeth, it’s important to continue to take care of your mouth to fight bacteria that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
For a comprehensive dental examination by a dentist in Orlando, FL, contact Thornton Park Dental Arts today.