Can Poor Oral Hygiene Worsen Alzheimer’s Disease?


There’s a growing body of evidence that supports something dentists have been saying for years: poor oral health is bad for your whole body! The latest finding to come out of the medical community finds something very alarming: gum disease can speed up the cognitive decline that Alzheimer’s sufferers go through!

Coupled with heart disease, stroke risk, and other potentially fatal health conditions, Alzheimer’s is just one more way that your mouth can negatively affect your body and mind. We want to keep you safe at Precise Dental Of Houston the best way we can: through promoting good oral health care!

What’s The Alzheimer’s Link?

The connection that scientist’s found was surprising, but the way it worked definitely wasn’t. It all starts with understanding how gum disease works and how its effects cause harm to other parts of your body.

Gum disease begins when oral bacteria makes its way below your gumline. Once there it starts to irritate and infect your gum tissue, causing inflammation, bleeding, and eventually gum recession and tooth loss. The key takeaway in understanding the bodily effects of gum disease is that first symptom: inflammation.

Your body reacts to a variety of conditions with inflammation: the redness around a cut, the swelling of a torn muscle, and the puffiness around a bruise are all forms of the inflammatory response. In most cases inflammation is able to rush white blood cells to the area to fight infection and repair tissue, but in your mouth it just doesn’t work as well.

Inflammation in the gums tends to go on and on, and over time it only gets worse. Continued inflammation leads to a rise in inflammatory markers in the blood, and that’s where health problems begin.

The Inflammatory Link

Inflammation markers present in the blood have been linked to increases in heart disease, heart attack risk, stroke risk, development of arthritis, and now the mental decline of Alzheimer’s. The study that found this link tested Alzheimer’s patients, some with gum disease and some without, for a period of six months.

At the end of the study they found that the patients with gum disease had declined much more than those without it. The link they discovered shows that inflammation in the brain can be directly linked to gum disease! While the initial results still need further testing there’s no reason to take an additional risk: you need to watch your oral health!

Fighting Back Against Unhealthy Gums

Gum disease doesn’t need to be a slow march toward poor health. It’s incredibly easy to treat with proper oral hygiene habits and some professional care from your dentist. Our Houston dental care team has been treating gum disease for years, and we’ve come to learn just how to control and cure it.

In its earliest forms gum disease is incredibly easy to eliminate. Just make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing nightly. With just a routine dental cleaning you could be well on your way toward a healthy, gum-disease free mouth.

Even when gum disease advances into a more serious condition there’s plenty of ways to treat it and get rid of it completely. We use techniques like deep cleanings, antibiotic treatments, and pocket reduction surgery (in extreme cases).

Treating gum disease doesn’t need to be complicated or confusing – we’ll simply get your mouth back to a good starting place, and then it’s up to you to maintain that health at home. With regular visits you’ll be back on track toward good oral health in no time.

Identifying Gum Disease

Be sure you’re aware of the early symptoms of gum disease. If you spot even a few of these you should make an appointment right away!

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Redness in your gums
  • Tenderness in your gums
  • Gum recession
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pain when you brush or floss

These might not seem too serious now, or could even be practically invisible. Regardless, treating gum disease early is the best way to eliminate it and prevent the horrible health effects that come along with it!

Take Action For Your Health!

There’s little doubt nowadays that poor oral health can devastate your body. We encourage you to take action to protect your smile and yourself by calling Precise Dental Of Houston today!

You can reach us at 713-812-1712 or you can request an appointment online. We’ll see you soon!