It's increasingly important as we age to adopting healthy habits to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. But eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly aren't the only ways to stay healthy. We must always take care of our brain health to reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease.
What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's Disease is a degenerative neurological condition causing memory loss and a decline in thinking skills. It is irreversible, typically occurs later in life, and has no known cure. While scientists do not fully understand the causes of Alzheimer's Disease, it is associated with a number of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. As such, it is important to understand the risks and make the needed adjustments to lower your chances of developing the disease.
The Mouth-Body Connection to Alzheimer's
While people don't commonly think of oral health as a component of brain health, the link between the two is stronger than you may realize. A 2019 study by Dr. Stephen Dominy shows that several periodontal pathogens are risk factors for the development of Alzheimer's, including the P.g., C.r., and C.s. pathogens.
Patients over the age of 60 who have lost more than half their teeth are at more than twice the standard risk of developing dementia. A 2007 study found that patients with few or no teeth saw their risk of developing dementia quadruple. The most common cause of tooth loss was periodontal disease occurring 20 to 30 years prior to the onset of dementia.
Patients with Alzheimer's Disease gradually lose their ability to care for their oral health, which can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. The onset of periodontitis can, in turn, intensify the effects of Alzheimer's Disease, creating a vicious cycle of ever-worsening oral and brain health.
At Sahara Health Group, we partner with the oral health professionals at Sahara Modern Dentistry to deliver a comprehensive treatment plan for your mouth, body, and brain. With services such as periodontal treatment, blood pressure monitoring, and salivary diagnostic testing, we take a preventative approach to combat Alzheimer's Disease and give you the best chance at long-term brain health.