What is the health connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease?

old lady dementia

It’s no secret that maintaining good oral health can reduce the risk of various health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. This is because oral health correlates with your overall health. However, many people are surprised when they discover a connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a medical condition that results in the degeneration and death of brain cells, leading to the loss of memory and other crucial mental functions. Although there are not any ways to prevent this condition, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, schedule an appointment with one of our adept general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ who can help you improve and maintain your overall oral health. 

Is there a connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease?

In recent years, research surrounding Alzheimer’s disease has shown a connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say that poor oral health can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future. This is because oral bacteria that cause gum disease are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontal disease or gum inflammation makes the brain more susceptible to the protein that causes Alzheimer’s. When plaque accumulates on your teeth and hardens into tartar, harmful bacteria can grow between your gums and teeth. Early detection is essential for gum disease as it can prevent significant health consequences in the future. If left untreated, you will be more vulnerable to serious health issues such as gum recession or tooth loss. This can cause bacteria to travel through the bloodstream toward the brain, increasing the risk of dementia.

What can I do to assist my loved one with this condition in maintaining their oral hygiene?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans of all ages live with Alzheimer’s disease. That being said, if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you may notice their oral health worsens as their condition progresses. In the early stages of the condition, they may be able to brush their teeth, floss, sanitize their dentures, and keep a record of their dental appointments. As the disease advances, those suffering often forget to practice good hygiene habits to upkeep their oral health. To assist your loved one’s oral health, it’s important to encourage them to brush their teeth twice a day, replace their toothbrush regularly, sanitize their dentures, monitor any discomfort in their mouth, and keep track of their dental appointments to ensure regular visits to their general dentist.

For more information on the connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease, contact one of our dedicated and trusted team members. You can count on Dental Associates of Basking Ridge to help you maintain your overall oral health. Early detection is critical, allow our dentists to help you today.

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