A thought provoking article created abit of a stir at Dental Studio recently, both in the practice and on Twitter and Facebook – is there a link between poor oral health and susceptibility to Alzheimer’s?
Gingivitis is a common occurrence, with figures estimating that almost half of the worldwide population have suffered with some form of gingivitis at some point in their life.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis occurs where there is a build up of dental plaque. The bacteria present in this plaque can irritate the gums, causing them to become red and inflamed with bleeding on brushing.
Gingivitis can be put right by good oral health – brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste, cleaning between the teeth with floss or small brushes, and regular hygienist visits can help to remove this plaque build up, getting the teeth back to their pale pink perfection.
However, where the plaque isn’t removed, and the gingivitis left to worsen, the implications become more serious. Gum disease affects 10-15% of the population, and can eventually cause bone loss – meaning that the supporting structure holding the teeth is lost and tooth loss can occur – a problem that becomes alot harder to solve, as well as other issues including pain, bad breath and sensitivity.
What has really caused some interest is a recent study from the UK, concerning the possibility that bad oral hygiene and the presence of gum disease could contribute towards the deterioration found in the brains of those patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Gum disease has already been found to contribute to the onset of poor health such as heart disease and diabetes.
In this case, the bacteria that is present in the gum disease have been found in the brains of patients suffering with dementia.
Although these finding are in the early stages of the research, it could be an opportune moment for us all to re-focus on our oral health, and the advantages of regular appointments with the dentists and hygienists could help to protect in the future.
If today is the day to make the change, and be proactive to protect your oral health, then give us a call. Recent rule changes means that it is no longer necessary to see the dentist before you can see the hygienist, so book in today!