It has been reported that there is a strong connection between oral health and the onset of dementia. Check out the latest reports about the matter below.
Oral health and dementia
Neglecting your oral health may increase the risk of developing dementia, diabetes, and heart disease. This was discussed by Professor Alpdogan Kantarci, a board-certified dentist, and Dr. Jonathan Wolf, CEO and co-founder of ZOE, on a recent episode of the ZOE Health podcast.
They highlighted the “surprising” connection between oral health and dementia. According to Alpdogan, poor oral hygiene can lead to a higher likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. To explain, he emphasized that oral health encompasses not only dental health but also the gums surrounding the teeth.
“They’re actually connected with the bone as well. So that’s actually part of the very important interface in our bodies, because if you think about it, that’s kind of the weakest link in the entire body, because that’s through which the bacteria can get into our systems. It requires a very specialized system of defense mechanisms, and that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
According to the Daily Record, Alpdogan stated that prior to the early nineties, people did not pay much attention to the relationship between oral health and overall health.
However, experts have now recognized that there are many connections between them, and not taking care of one’s mouth could result in a range of health problems.
Risk for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
Alpdogan went on to explain that oral diseases, particularly periodontal diseases, can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases by 1.5 to twofold. Meanwhile, dementia has a twofold increase, and Alzheimer’s disease can be 1.5.
To maintain good oral health, Alpdogan recommends a few daily habits for everyone. He said: “I do brush and floss on a regular basis and so you need to brush your teeth at least two to three times.
“Make sure that you’re not skipping the evening brushing. That’s very important. Because you cannot skip that because your saliva flow goes the lowest at night when you’re sleeping.”
But he issued a warning against using too much mouthwash in your daily routine. He added: “If you add too much of mouthwash in your oral care regimen, then you’re also suppressing all the good [bacteria] as well, which we don’t want to do.”