While dentists have been telling everyone for years that oral health directly correlates to one’s overall health, there’s even more detailed research on the impact of a good oral care routine. Research has indicated that the way you clean your teeth may affect your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Evidence has suggested that gum disease could be a possible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies even suggest that the risk doubles if you have gum disease for more than ten years. Gum disease is associated with certain types of bacteria. Research has found these same bacteria in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Lab tests on mice have also shown how the spread of the bacteria from the mouth to the brain has destroyed nerve cells.
Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) occurs when bacteria accumulates on the surface of your teeth. It can cause inflammation in the gums and cause harm to one’s mouth. Gingivitis is the first phase of gum disease. Nearly half of adults experience gingivitis and with proper care it is generally something that can be reversed. If gingivitis is left untreated, pockets between the tooth and gum can form and fill up with harmful bacteria. At this stage, the gingivitis has transformed into periodontitis. It becomes almost impossible to eliminate the bacteria in your mouth after this has occurred. However, regular dental treatments can control the growth of the pockets. Gum disease is a risk for people who have poor oral hygiene habits, those who smoke, and those who make poor food choices.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die. It is the most common cause of dementia which is a continuous decline in thinking, behavior, and social skills. It completely disrupts a person’s ability to live independently. Severe memory impairment and an inability to carry out everyday tasks make day-to-day living extremely difficult without extensive support. Current treatment options include medications that can improve symptoms temporarily or slow down the speed of mental and physical decline. However, there is no cure for the disorder. In advanced stages, there can be major complications from the loss of brain function, including dehydration, malnutrition, or infection. Unfortunately, if not monitored properly it can result in death.
Oral Care Routine
The research is preliminary and has not had major clinical trials yet. With that, it does not hurt to consider the research and improve your oral care routine. A good oral care routine is helpful for your oral health and your overall health. Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to brush at night after you have eaten and only drink water after. If you eat or drink again (outside of water), brush again. Floss at least once a day, preferably at night. Leaving leftover food to fester all night is a breeding ground for bacteria. Use mouthwash with fluoride at least once a day. This may be helpful after lunch if you are at work and don’t have time to brush. Lastly, attend your regularly scheduled dental appointments every six months (or more if recommended by your dentist).
The research has provided very helpful insight into the importance of oral health. However, this should not cause panic. This should only help you be more mindful when it comes to your oral health. Until the larger, controlled studies provide more results, it’s best to stick to good oral care routine for the multitude of benefits it can provide.
Dental Care in Thousand Oaks
Lombard Dental Studio in Thousand Oaks is a full-service dental practice that offers a wide variety of dental services. The dental practice is under the care of Dr. Amir Jamsheed and Dr. Vadim Lebovich. Both were educated at the University of Southern California, one of the top schools in the nation. Both Dr. Amir Jamsheed and Dr. Vadim Lebovich are passionate about patient care and ensuring that each person feels comfortable when they walk into Lombard Dental Studio. Contact their office today for an appointment!