Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Dental Health

happy seniorsPoor oral hygiene has been linked in the past to heart disease and kidney disease. Now a recent study suggests that there may be a link between poor oral hygiene and a person’s chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans of Wager Evans Dental of Reno, Nevada want you to understand the importance of good oral hygiene and your health.

Q: What did the study indicate about oral health and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

A:  The study from the University of Central Lancashire of England examined the brains of people who were diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and the brains of those who did not have either disease. The study found that 40% of the patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease possessed a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis in their brains. This bacterium is normally found in oral cavities.

Q:  How did the bacterium get from the patients’ mouths to their brains?

A:  Researchers continue to look for concrete information, but believe that the bacteria may have entered the blood stream from diseased oral cavities that went untreated for a period of time.

Q:  What is Porphyromonas gingivalis?

A: Porphyromonas gingivalis is a bacterium which exists in every human mouth. If good dental hygiene is not practiced, Porphyromonas gingivalis will grow unabated. It is a major cause of periodontitis or gum disease, an inflammatory condition that can destroy the bone and tissues supporting your teeth.

Q:  What is good oral hygiene?

A: There are four main components to good oral hygiene:

  1. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and after every meal whenever possible.
  2. Flossing your teeth once per day.
  3. Attending regular dental cleanings and dental checkups.
  4. Consuming a diet low in sugared drinks and food containing sugar.

About Your Reno Dentists:

Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment at our Reno family dentist office today by calling (775) 800-4845. We proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities.