Gum disease is in itself can be perilous, but recent studies in Taiwan have found links between Alzheimer’s and periodontal disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is believed to affect nearly 50 million people worldwide. There are many helpful tips to be found suggesting ways in which we can help ourselves to avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease with a heavy emphasis on diet and exercise. Now, according to researchers from the Chung Shan Medical University and the National Defense Medical Center, it is suggested that keeping our gums healthy may also help to avoid Alzheimer’s.
The investigation used data from the National Health Insurance Program of Taiwan, examining people aged 50 or over with a 10 year (or longer) history of periodontitis. Researchers then proceeded to check whether they developed Alzheimer’s disease at a later date, comparing them with people who did not have chronic periodontitis. Researchers adjusted for other factors that might influence the development of Alzheimer’s, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and urban environment. They still discovered a risk increase of 70% in developing Alzheimer’s compared to people without chronic periodontitis. They concluded:
“Our findings support the notion that infectious diseases associated with low-grade inflammation, such as chronic periodontitis, may play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.”
If you recognise any of the following signs of gum disease within yourself, please do not hesitate to book an appointment here at the practice as soon as you can. Moving swiftly enables more effective treatment of gum disease – the earlier we catch it, the better!
Bad breath (halitosis)
Excessive sugar consumption can also lead to gum disease, and it is worth noting again that recent studies have found a link between sugar and Alzheimer’s. The study analysed the diets of 2,226 pensioners over the duration of 7 years. Those who drank sugary, fizzy drinks or fruit juices, or added sugar to their bowls of cereal or puddings were found to face significant increased risks. Pensioners who added more than 2 and a half spoonful’s of sugar to their cups of tea or coffee were 54% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who added none.
To reduce your risk of gum disease, you must absolutely consider cutting down on your sugar intake. You can also help yourself by maintaining a thorough oral healthcare routine:
Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice daily
Your mouth will also benefit from dental floss, interdental brushes and mouthwash
Consume a healthy, balanced diet
Keep hydrated and rinse your mouth throughout the day by drinking plenty of water
Attend your routine dental examinations here at the practice
If you would like any advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, please feel free to call us on 020 7935 3323 to book a consultation. We look forward to seeing you soon for your next appointment.