Every 67 seconds, there’s a new case of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States and that number will increase to every 33 seconds by the middle of this century. With these alarming statistics, scientists are working feverishly to discover what triggers this debilitating disease and how it can be prevented. This research has led to a connection that you may not have suspected—gum disease.
According to a study conducted by the University of Florida School of Dentistry, a link has been discovered between the oral bacteria caused by poor dental hygiene and the degeneration of brain tissue. Specifically, a component of oral bacteria was found in the brain samples of 4 out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients and none was observed in the non-Alzheimer’s patients. This frequency shows that this is more than a coincidence; there is a definite connection.
So how does this bacteria get from your mouth to your brain? While chewing, brushing, flossing, or having dental procedures, oral bacteria can leave your mouth and travel to other parts of the body through your bloodstream. In addition to being linked to Alzheimer’s, it can cause heart disease and stroke.
The best way to prevent oral bacteria from causing problems throughout your body is to practice good daily oral hygiene. Your routine should include flossing once and brushing twice a day. In addition, regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are able to catch the early stages of gum disease before they turn into a problem.
If you have noticed excessive receding of your gums and bleeding while you brush, floss or chew, you may have the early stages of periodontal disease. Call Dr. DeAndrade to schedule an evaluation and learn the many treatment options available to you. It’s not just your gums we’re trying to save.