What if Dental Care Could Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dental care is important for more than just your teeth. Research has consistently shown that those who take care of their teeth and gums live longer, healthier lives. It also makes logical sense. Your mouth is the gatekeeper to the rest of your body, and if your teeth and gums struggle with disease, that same disease travels throughout your stomach, organs, and limbs.
Poor oral health has already been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. But new research has gone a step further: poor oral health may be a potential cause of Alzheimer’s, and visiting the dentist could potentially be a simple activity that prevents this life-altering disease.
How Could Oral Hygiene Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
For the first time, researchers may have discovered a bacteria that is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis. The name may sound intimidating, but dentists know this bacteria very well. That’s because P. gingivalis is the most common cause of gum disease.
And it’s not a coincidence either. Similar research found that P. gingivalis is capable of invading the brain of those who have gum disease. Mice with gum disease were found to have increased levels of P. gingivalis in their brain.
“The idea that oral health is important for long term health isn’t new,” said Dr. Christina Skelton, a dentist in Folsom at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry. “But never before has there been the potential for such a direct link. If research continues to find that gum disease may cause Alzheimer’s Disease, it changes not only what we know about Alzheimer’s, but the field of dentistry as well.”
What This Means for Your Dental Care
Your oral health is always important. Here at Paul Jang Dentistry, we encourage you to come in for at least your 6 month appointments to prevent common dental issues, such as:
- Tooth Decay
- Gum Disease
- Tooth Pain
As a Moorpark Dentist, Dr. Jang’s role is to help you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible by providing you with regular checkups. As patients, your role is to keep your scheduled appointments as well as to maintain proper home dental care.
“Even if it ends up that Alzheimer’s is not caused by gum disease, frequent checkups are important,” said Dr. Skelton. “But given what we know about how dentistry affects other forms of physical health, including Alzheimer’s, regular dental visits should be considered as important as yearly physicals.”
If it has been a while since your last dental appointment, call us at (805) 529-4821 for an appointment or schedule your appointment online, and make sure that you are getting the help you need to reduce your risk for gum disease.