Have you noticed your gums look inflamed or red? Do you notice blood forming between your teeth when you brush or floss? These are all signs of gum disease, and only your dentist can determine the severity of your individual case. Ranging from mild to advanced stages, gum disease in Tyson’s Corner & Potomac can not only harm your oral health but if severe enough, it can lead to other health-related issues such as cardiovascular disease or even Alzheimer’s. Find out more about this link between gum health and brain function.
What’s the Link?
According to researchers at The University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry, individuals who suffer from gum disease or poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Why? The simple answer is bacteria.
When you begin to develop gum disease, you will notice your gums become red and inflamed. The bacteria that is living in your gum pockets is brought on by everything from eating to brushing your teeth. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body, including your brain.
Once it reaches the brain, your body’s immune system will attempt to fight off the infection, but instead, it will actually kill off many of your brain’s neurons. But why? It’s actually due to inflammation. When your body experiences inflammation, it weakens your immune system, so as it tries to eliminate any infection present in the brain, it kills the brain cells instead of protecting them, thus, causing problems with confusion and declining memory.
Why Are Regular Checkups and Cleanings so Important?
There are many ways you can prevent gum disease, but two tried and true ways are to practice good oral hygiene habits at home and making sure to see your dentist in Tyson’s Corner & Potomac every six months. These regular checkups and cleanings enable your dentist to not only thoroughly examine you for any additional problems such as oral cancer or tooth decay, but it gives the hygienist an opportunity to clean your teeth and remove any plaque and tartar buildup that can cause gum disease.
If it is left untreated, what can start as a mild case of gingivitis can turn into advanced periodontitis, which can lead to bone and tooth loss, not to mention the potential for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even a decreased in cognitive brain function.
If you’re looking for other ways you can keep your gum and brain health intact, here are a few additional tips:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stop smoking
- Visit your dentist
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day
Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease, and while there is no definitive explanation as to what causes this decline in the brain, it’s best to practice good oral habits. Not only will it potentially keep your brain functioning well, but it will also keep your oral health on track.
About the Author
Dr. Sam Osseiran, DDS, MA, MAGD, graduated from Georgetown University School of Dentistry with certification is occlusion, TMJ management, and prosthodontics. He also earned a Master of Science degree for inventing an intraoral prosthesis treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. He and his team at Just For Your Smile understand the common problem known as gum disease and are prepared to take care of it with periodontal therapy. If you could benefit from this solution, or for questions, contact us at (703) 288-4700.