It is a well-known fact that your dental health and your overall health are connected. In fact, recent studies show that there is a correlation between oral health and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Oral Bacteria Leads to Dementia
A recent study done by NIA scientists shows that the bacteria that cause gum disease is also associated with developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s which is the most common form of dementia. There are many types of dementia, with 60% to 70% accounting for Alzheimer’s.
Gum diseases occur when plaque builds up on your teeth and turns into tartar. This causes the growth of bacteria between your teeth and gums. Addressing such cases early can help prevent significant health consequences.
When gum diseases are left untreated, you become vulnerable to more serious health issues like gum loss or tooth recession. This enables the bacteria to travel up to your brain and cause dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Patient’s Oral Health
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease experience worsening oral health as their condition progresses. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, patients can still normally do their daily tasks like brushing their teeth or visiting the dentist. As the condition worsens, it becomes difficult for them to continue their daily routine. This can cause adverse effects on their overall health and well-being.
If you or someone in your family has dementia or Alzheimer’s, here are some tips from the Alzheimer’s Association that can help you:
- Help them with brushing their teeth.
- Offer short and simple directions for them to remember.
- Demonstrate the right process of brushing.
- Try different toothbrushes to understand which works better.
- Find them the right dentist for their needs.
- Keep a record of their recent dental appointments.
- Pay attention to any pain or discomfort in the mouth.
- Properly sanitize dentures, if any.
Patients with Alzheimer’s may not be able to tell if they’re in pain. It is your responsibility to pay attention to their pains and discomforts. Take them to an emergency room as soon as possible if you find their jaw to be swollen, or if they find it difficult to breathe or swallow.
Look for signs if they’re in pain:
- Wincing when chewing
- Biting their inner cheek or lip
- Have a white film on their tongue
- Stays away from foods that are too hot or cold
Contact The Florida Center for Laser Dentistry, at (727) 862-8513 or schedule an appointment online if you or someone you love suffers from Alzheimer’s. We are located at 12124 Cobble Stone Dr, Hudson, FL 34667,