Treat gum disease to reduce dementia death risk, study finds


Close-up of elderly woman's mouth during dental care
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Alzheimer's patients who receive treatment for their gum disease have a lower risk of death than those who have untreated gum disease, a new study shows.

The study was published Monday in scientific reportfound that the risk of death in people who did not receive periodontal treatment was approximately 1.99 times higher than in those who received treatment.

The researchers examined data on 1,131,406 people with dementia over the age of 65 in South Korea. The mortality rate among dementia patients during the study period was approximately 10%. Over a 17-year period, 83.5% of survivors received treatment for gum disease and 71.5% received no periodontal treatment.

Overall, the risk of death in the untreated group was approximately 1.83 times higher than that in the treated group. Treatment options include deep cleaning and surgery.

Data shows that Alzheimer's patients who receive periodontal treatment have a higher 17-year survival rate than those with vascular dementia.

“These findings suggest that preventive periodontal treatment may reduce the risk of death in older adults with dementia,” the authors wrote.

The proportion of women suffering from dementia in the study was approximately 2.2 times that of men, but men had a higher risk of death. The authors note that this fact is consistent with previous research.

A study published on January 26 Alzheimer's disease and dementiaa Links periodontitis (also called gum disease) to the risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Periodontitis is associated with MRI findings that indicate a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, the team said. While the findings do not prove that periodontitis causes cognitive disease, scientists say more research should be done on this relationship.



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