Study Finds Link Between Poor Dental Health and Dementia
Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics provides a wide range of treatments to improve and protect oral health. Our offices in Montgomeryville, Bala Cynwyd, and Bensalem, PA, use the latest techniques and tools available to improve a patient’s dental health and general wellness.
Oral health is important to maintaining a beautiful smile, but it may even have a greater role for overall health. In fact, gum disease treatment can restore oral health and may even reduce the risk of dementia and other health problems. Find out more about the link between poor oral health and dementia, and why you should take care of your smile.
The Link Between Oral Health and Dementia
According to an article in Forbes, studies have shown a link between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia.
In one study, participants were asked questions about their oral hygiene habits, including how often they brush and undergo professional dental cleanings. Those who brushed more frequently and had their teeth regularly professionally cleaned had a lower risk of dementia.
Further, when dentists evaluated the participants’ teeth, they found those who had dental cavities, gum disease, and eight to 14 missing teeth, were at a greater risk of having dementia.
Oral Health Affects Overall Health
In addition to the link between poor oral health and dementia, oral health can impact overall health.
Poor oral health has been linked to cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, and gastrointestinal diseases.
It should also be noted that gum disease and other oral infections can spread through the bloodstream. In some cases, this can cause a life-threatening condition called sepsis.
Protecting Oral Health
Good oral health is important to overall health. The best way to prevent oral health problems, like gum disease and tooth decay, is to practice good oral hygiene habits. This includes:
- Brushing: It’s important to brush at least twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast, and once in the evening before bed. Be sure to brush all sides of the teeth, paying close attention to the gumline and don’t speed through brushing. A thorough brushing should take two minutes.
- Flossing: Flossing is able to reach between the teeth and along the gumline where brushing can't reach, making it one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease and treat mild gum disease. The teeth should be flossed at least once every day.
- Regular dental exams and cleanings: In addition to brushing and flossing, regular dental exams are essential in preventing gum disease. During dental exams, any oral health problems, including gum disease, can be diagnosed and addressed before they become severe. Professional cleanings are also important for preventing plaque and tartar buildup that can occur despite good brushing and flossing habits.
- Seek dental treatment: Seeking dental treatment for oral health problems as soon as possible is important for preventing oral health problems from becoming worse and impacting overall health.
Schedule a Consultation to Get a Checkup
Your oral health is important. Contact our practice to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.