September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which aims to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around dementia. As we’ve touched on in previous blogs, the impact of oral health on overall wellness is becoming better understood. Research now shows associations between oral health and systemic conditions like heart disease, diabetes — even Alzheimer’s.
So, what does this have to do with our teeth?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Early symptoms include getting lost in familiar places or losing items in odd places, among others.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unclear, researchers are starting to find some clues. The American Academy of Periodontology shared a study that found a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and the bacteria that causes gum disease. Scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway found a similar link, and are even working on medicines to block the bacteria’s enzymes from entering the brain. Both studies stress that good oral hygiene habits may help minimize the risk of developing the disease.
What can we learn from this research?
The research on Alzheimer’s disease highlights the importance of maintaining routine oral hygiene habits. By taking good care of our teeth and gums, we are contributing to our overall health and wellness. This includes things like:
- Keeping up with routine oral hygiene appointments.
- Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.
- Following a healthy diet and avoiding things like sugary drinks.
A healthy smile means a healthier you, so schedule your routine dental appointment today!