Does Gum Disease Cause Alzheimer's?

Gum disease’s link to Alzheimer’s… explored

A new study has discovered that people who have suffered from Gum disease for 10 years or longer are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease…

The research, published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy looked at more than 25,000 people to examine whether patients age 50 or older with chronic periodontitis had an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

They discovered that people who suffered from long standing gum disease of 10 years or more, were up to 70% more likely to then develop Alzheimer’s disease.

The Oral health Foundation has long recognised close links between poor oral health and general health and believes that, by paying closer attention to our mouth, we will be able to better maintain overall health later in life.

Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, spoke on the implications of this research…” Studies such as this can be hugely significant in helping us to understand how we can maybe help reduce our risk of developing different diseases and, as a result improve the lives of millions of people in the future." The good news is gum disease is an entirely preventable and treatable disease. Everybody can avoid gum disease and its associated risks…

The best approach is most certainly prevention, and making sure we do not fall foul of it at all.

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colourless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist - click here for a FREE consultation

At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should:

  • Ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
  • Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
  • Use a tiny ruler called a “probe” to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.
Periodontitis or Gum Disease Illustration
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