- April 17, 2016
We’ve talked a lot about the link between oral and bodily health on our blog, and you may have even heard similar lines from us during an appointment at our Shorewood office. The bottom line is always the same: poor oral health can and will affect your overall body.
There’s always new studies coming out that link oral health to serious conditions in the body, and sadly this week is no different. It turns out that the latest condition we can connect to gum disease is Alzheimer’s. That’s a frightening connection!
How Does Oral Health Affect The Body?
The biggest problem for your mouth is gum disease, and it’s also the same one that causes so many problems for the rest of your body. The reason that gum disease is so dangerous is because of how it causes your body to react: through local inflammation in the mouth.
When oral bacteria sneaks beneath your gumline it’s able to spread quickly, infecting the spaces between gums and teeth. As with any infection, your body sends white blood cells to fight off the bacteria, and with them comes inflammation.
The inflammation that accompanies fighting gum disease is effective in most areas of the body: a cut usually doesn’t become infected, muscles are able to heal, and most any tissue damage in the body is resolved through the healing power of inflammation. Your mouth is a different story, which isn’t good for your health!
Inflammation of the gingival tissue (your gums) continues, and usually gets worse. This causes the release of inflammatory markers into the blood – the very same inflammatory markers responsible for increasing stroke risk, heart attack risk, and (with newly found information) the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum Disease And Alzheimer’s: They Grow Together
A recent study of Alzheimer’s patients found out that those suffering from gum disease had significantly more decline over the course of the year than those with healthy mouths. The thought at this point is that it’s a two way relationship: not only does gum disease aggravate Alzheimer’s, but Alzheimer’s causes the patient to neglect their oral health.
Inflammation has long been known to be part of Alzheimer’s, but with this new information we now know that gum disease is directly contributing to the spread of and effects of these inflammatory markers. It’s frightening to think that oral health can have such a severe impact on the progress of Alzheimer’s – for many people it hits really close to home!
Current medical science isn’t to the point where we can cure this deadly disease, but we can cure the gum disease that’s contributing to it.
Preventing And Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is far from rare, and it’s destructive for most everyone, not only Alzheimer’s patients. The most effective form of controlling this dangerous condition is prevention, obviously, but let’s be realistic: that’s not always possible when it’s already started! With around 60 percent of adults dealing with some form of gum disease in their lives the chances of developing it are definitely possible!
Thankfully the early stages of treatment are the same as the preventive ones: brush properly and floss nightly and you can do wonders for your oral health. Combined with the gum disease treatments we offer at Shorewood Family Dental Care we can have you back to good oral health in no time at all.
When vigilant cleaning habits aren’t enough we can still treat you using a state-of-the-art diode laser that’s specially designed to fight gum disease. This amazing product allows us to kill bacteria, remove tartar, vaporize damaged and infected tissue, and instantly heal your gums. Even some of the worst cases can be resolved with this modern treatment method!
If you are caring for an older family member who is suffering from Alzheimer’s we can help them get back to a healthy point where routine dental care can help slow their cognitive decline. The trick for you is to make sure that they’re doing all the brushing and flossing that they need to do.
Get Help For You And Those You Love
Alzheimer’s is a terrifying disease; one that you’ll do anything you can to lessen its effects or your chances of developing it. Good oral health is just another piece of the puzzle to add to your arsenal to fight its effects, and we’d love to be the point men in your fight. Our Shorewood team has been treating gum disease for years and we’re ready to help you maintain optimal oral health in your fight against Alzheimer’s!