People with poor dental hygiene are 21% more likely to develop dementia in later life, new research suggests.
According to the study, recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, poor oral health and tooth loss increased the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The study authors said their findings emphasize the importance of monitoring, as well as management of “periodontal health in the context of dementia prevention”. They added that because of this finding, dental professionals are in a great position to track and intervene should a patient's periodontal health begin to deteriorate.
“Our mouth is full of bacteria (good and bad). We need these bacteria to live in equilibrium and when our dental hygiene is missing, the bad bacteria can overcome and install in our gums. There is evidence that bacteria can travel to the brain and participate with neurodegeneration that will ultimately decline our cognitive health,” she told Healthline.
“Oral health is important for our overall quality of life. Taking care of our mouth is as important as taking care of our body. Our mouth is more exposed to the environment, and it is the entrance to our entire body,” she added.
The research has spoken: Brush your teeth two to three times a day and visit a dentist twice a year as routine, or sooner if you notice a change in your dental health.
*Image by Reto Gerber from Pixabay