Posts Tagged ‘oral health dementia’

Forget something? Maybe the reason is in your mouth!

Friday, November 13th, 2009

cognitive function

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, can be linked to poor oral health? According to extensive research, various health issues like the ones mentioned can be related to one’s oral hygiene. This is why it is important to brush and floss regularly, as well as visit the dentist for regular checkups.

Researchers have found recently that gum disease can influence brain function in a negative way: gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, in turn causing a loss of mental function.

In a study of people ages 60 and older, those with the highest levels of the gum disease-causing pathogen were 3X more likely to have difficulty with verbal memory tests, like recalling a three-word phrase after a period of time. Also, adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were twice as likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests and verbal recall tests.

In the study, the researchers mentioned that there are no epidemiological studies that have shown the relation between periodontitis and cognition, despite the link between periodontitis with stroke and the risk factors of stroke and dementia. However, evidence supports there being a relation between poor oral health and incident dementia. It can be expected that there will be more tests done on this topic in the near future.

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