What is the Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Oral Health?

What is the Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Oral Health?

January 1, 2023

Did you know Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth main cause of death in the United States? Since it’s a progressive disease, it will get more severe with time. As Alzheimer’s disease becomes severe, the person starts forgetting the technique of brushing their teeth. Therefore, taking proper care of dental health is essential to prevent digestive issues, infections, and other problems.

During the middle and last stages of Alzheimer’s disease, caring for oral health becomes more difficult. The person may forget how to wash their mouth, what to do with toothpaste, etc. It leads to a decline in oral health and overall well-being. Although there is no cure for the condition, you can follow good dental hygiene steps to maintain your overall health.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia. Patients with dementia have impaired cognitive abilities. It means they find it tough to make decisions, have mood fluctuations, disorientation, and poor motor and language skills.

Alzheimer’s and Oral Health Connection

Many studies identify a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and dental health. One study states that gum diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis) are linked to Alzheimer’s using a bacteria species known as Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Researchers have determined a few risk factors for developing dementia like genetic predisposition, age, and family history. Even the research claims that Alzheimer’s and other dementia types could be associated with dental health.

How Mouth Bacteria Leads to Dementia?

One study by NIA scientists stated that the bacteria that cause gum diseases are linked with Alzheimer’s. As you know, gum disease occurs when plaque collects on the teeth and converts into tartar. It increases the growth of bacteria between the teeth and gums. When left unaddressed, it results in more health complications like tooth loss, gum recession, etc.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is a type of bacteria commonly found in patients with gum diseases. It can move from the mouth to the brain of an individual. It also produces enzymes that damage nerve cells and ultimately result in Alzheimer’s.

How to Maintain Your Dental Health?

If you or your loved one has Alzheimer’s, you can consider the following dental hygiene tips to achieve good dental health:

Begin with Basic Dental Hygiene

Many dental experts believe that the best thing that the patients of

Alzheimer’s can begin with basic oral hygiene:

  • Going to the dentist in Fort Lee at least twice a year.
  • Brushing teeth twice or thrice a day.
  • Treating gum diseases when required.
  • Flossing daily. It will make the regions in between teeth clean. This makes them less prone to bacteria build-up.

Although gingivitis is curable, periodontal disease can lead to gum recession and tooth loss if not prevented or treated. It leads to more costly and invasive treatments later on.

As per the American Dental Association, cleaning the mouth using an interdental cleaner or floss every day, along with brushing twice a day will prevent periodontitis. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree. It will allow you to clean your gums and teeth simultaneously.

You can also try different toothbrushes and let one dry between uses. But always remember to replace your brush every three months. Although flossing is not a replacement for brushing, you still need to brush your teeth daily to keep your teeth and gums in the best shape. When combined with brushing, floss serves as the first line of defense in protecting the teeth.

  • Preventive Care

Another essential thing to your dental health routine is getting preventive dental care services at So Good Dental, mainly regular exams and cleanings. Since there are different types of cleanings, make sure you talk to your dentist and get the best preventive treatment for your mouth.

  • Keep Complete Record

Another tip to follow is to keep a record of your every recent dental appointment. It will help the person near you or your close family member to take you to the Fort Lee dental clinic and show your dental records for appropriate treatment.

  • Sanitize Dentures

With Alzheimer’s, you may forget to clean the dentures and oral cavity. It may even lead to denture loss. The best way is to clean dentures, oral cavities, and leftover teeth. You can also mark your name on the denture to prevent its loss.