Over 500,000 people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease. Though not inevitable, it is still quite common among older people. If you want to reduce the likelihood of developing this condition as you grow older, you might want to look after your dental health. Yes, you read that right. Your dental health.
According to Monkmoor Dental Practice, oral hygiene underpins all aspects of dental health. On the other hand, recent research shows that oral health has an effect on the sharpness of your mind. It would appear that oral care impacts more than just your dental health.
Cognitive Decline and Oral Health
A relatively small study (looking only at 59 people) led by the University of Southampton and King’s College London provides evidence that gum disease is a potential factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum disease, which may stem from poor dental hygiene or the lack of dental treatment, involves gum inflammation. This inflammation is a potential reason for the brain’s quicker decline. Although it is unclear whether gum disease is the cause or the effect of the condition, researchers suggest that better dental hygiene and oral health maintenance help slow down the progression of cognitive decline.
Proper Dental Hygiene for the Mind and Body
Your dental hygiene affects your body more than you know. Aside from keeping your mouth clean, proper dental hygiene helps your physical health and mental sharpness to improve as well.
Professor Clive Holmes of the University of Southampton said that if a further study with a larger number of participants shows a direct relationship between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease, then periodontal treatment may just be a treatment option for Alzheimer’s.
The research shows an association between gum disease and cognitive decline, and further study could confirm their relation. For now, you might as well keep brushing your teeth twice a day, and have regular dental checkups to help your mind stay sharp.