You have probably heard that a healthy dose of crossword puzzles and light exercise can help stave off dementia, but it seems something even simpler might protect your brain – keeping your teeth clean.
For most people, teeth cleaning may just be a normal part of your daily routine. But what if the way you clean your teeth today, might affect your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease in years to come?
According to research published in the journal Science Advances, there is a significant link between the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis – the main cause of chronic gum disease – and Alzheimer’s. Tests on mice also showed how the bacteria spread from their mouth to their brain where it destroyed nerve cells.
A US pharmaceutical company Cortexyme is researching the cause of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders.
The study findings are the largest ever to investigate the link between Alzheimer’s and P. Gingivalis, it is important to note that as yet we do not know if the bacterium causes Alzheimer’s but that it is one of the contributing factors.
But what can be said for sure, if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s this finding is very important and how you maintain your oral health may impact your quality of life later on.
How to avoid Gum disease
The risk of gum disease is significantly increased in people with poor oral hygiene. And factors such as smoking, medication, genetics, food choices, puberty and pregnancy can all contribute towards the development of this condition.
Brush your teeth
The latest research adds more evidence to the theory gum disease is one of the things that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can help to keep gum disease at bay.
Having a good dental hygiene, a healthy low sugar diet and regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.
We have two oral health therapists dedicated to ensuring patients do the best they can to maintaining a healthy oral health.
What you can do, is regularly book yourself in for dental checkups and discuss with your health professional what you can do to prevent any onsets of gum disease. Share with your health professional if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s. Our team will keep a close eye on your general oral health.