The connection between your brain and your mouth is not something we often think about, unless maybe you catch yourself saying something without thinking. But the health of our mouth is also important to our brain. Recent studies have shown the connection between the health of our gums and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is marked by a sticky compound that accumulates in the brain called “beta-amyloid.” Many scientists believe that build-up of this substance interferes with brain function, eventually killing neurons and brain cells permanently.
Researchers are studying the associations between oral bacteria, inflammation and the formation of beta amyloid. They are trying to determine if people with severe gum disease are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. And another study showed that people who already had AD experienced a six fold increase in cognitive decline when they had periodontal disease. The oral bacteria in unhealthy gums causes inflammation that may contribute to arterial and cognitive decline.
This isn’t to say that periodontal disease causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but that health gums contribute to healthy brains. For good mental health, you should also maintain a healthy weight, keep cholesterol, blood sugar and high blood pressure in check, avoid nicotine, stay active, treat depression, eat a healthy diet, and stay socially engaged.
But studies show that your oral health plays a significant role as well. That’s where we can help.
We prescribe Perio Protect to help treat periodontal disease, with results reducing infection and inflammation in as little as three weeks. The easy-to-use, at-home Perio Trays® comfortably deliver hydrogen peroxide deep below the gum line. It’s easy, effective, and can help keep you in better overall health. Both today and down the road.
In addition to regular trips to your dentist to keep your teeth and gums free of disease, you should always consult your primary care physician for matters of overall health and have regular physical exams. Especially if you have a family history of dementia.