Research Suggests That Bad Dental Health May Increase Risk of Dementia

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Keep your gums and chews clean, folks, because evidence is mounting that your dental health may affect your risk of dementia. Washington post Report.

People should really realize that oral health is very important,” Anita Visser, a professor of geriatric dentistry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, told the newspaper.

For example, a study cited in 2017 Wapo A study involving nearly 28,000 people in Taiwan found that having periodontal or gum disease for a decade or more increased the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, by 1.7 times.

A 2022 meta-analysis of 47 relevant studies also found that poor periodontal health and tooth loss are associated with cognitive decline and dementia.

As to why, further research has uncovered a clearer link between certain oral bacteria and Alzheimer's disease.In particular, a 2019 study found Porphyromonas gingivalis Bacteria that cause gum disease pop up in postmortem brains of Alzheimer's patients.

In tests on mice, the study found that invasion of the brain by oral bacteria appears to lead to the appearance of beta amyloid, a peptide long thought to be at the heart of Alzheimer's disease and worsening inflammation in the brain. Also thought to be associated with this disease.

However, like Alzheimer's disease itself, the exact medical details of this apparent link remain Wapo points out that people with dementia may find it difficult to keep up with dental care, so poor oral hygiene may be a symptom rather than a cause.The relationship can even be bidirectional, or both can be a symptom and A reason.

Consensus is therefore nuanced. Another 2022 analysis concurred with the evidence so far that suggests a bidirectional relationship, but noted that a causal link between gum disease and Alzheimer's has not yet been established.

“It's really complicated,” Visser told reporters Wapo. “That's why we can't say, 'Oh, if you have periodontitis, you're going to get Alzheimer's.'” But we now know that if you have severe periodontitis, you're going to get Alzheimer's. The chance of mutism is even greater.

Without more extensive research, no firm conclusions can be drawn at this time. But at the end of the day, there’s no reason not to floss and brush your teeth. In addition to your teeth and gums and the people around you, your brain will most likely thank you for it.

More information about dental health: Celebrities permanently damaged their teeth for a 'perfect smile' – but it came back to haunt them later

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