October 1, 2020
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth into place. There are many different things that can contribute to this oral health problem, and there are numerous health conditions throughout the body that can be linked back to gum disease in Lakeway. One of these is Alzheimer’s. Continue reading to learn about the link between the two as well as what you can do to prevent periodontal disease in the future.
How Are Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Related?
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is very common and affects about half of adults over the age of 30. However, the effects are usually reversible if you get treatment early on. When left untreated, this can progress to periodontitis, where subgingival pockets develop between the teeth and gums. This then fills with bacteria and can be nearly impossible to get rid of completely.
There is a certain type of bacteria found in periodontitis which is also present in the brains of people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is known as Porphyromonas gingivalis. A U.S. pharmaceutical company, Cortexyme, did a test on mice to show how these bacteria spread to the brain and result in characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease.
How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?
Even though gum disease is very common, it is also easily preventable. Here are some of the ways that you can keep your gums healthy:
- Brush twice daily: Brush after meals to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth. Don’t forget to give your tongue a brush as well.
- Floss: Your toothbrush cannot reach all areas of your mouth. This is why it is so important to floss. This way, you can remove food debris from beneath the gumline and between the teeth.
- Use mouthwash: Using a mouth rinse can help to wash away remaining food particles that you missed while brushing and flossing.
- See your dentist: Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is necessary for good oral health. During your professional cleaning, your dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildups, and your dentist will be able to detect early signs of gum disease so it can be treated before becoming serious.
- Know your risk: Many different factors can contribute to periodontal disease including your age, smoking habits, diet, and genetics. If you are at a higher risk, this is something you should talk about with your dentist.
Periodontal disease can lead to all sorts of issues, including Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, with proper oral hygiene and by seeing your family dentist in Lakeway regularly, you can keep your gums healthy.
About the Author
Dr. Winston Eaddy is a well experienced family dentist who has been practicing for over four decades. He earned his dental degree from the College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of S.C. before receiving his specialty degree in Periodontics. Dr. Eaddy holds memberships for numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. For more information on maintaining healthy gums or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (512) 263-4252.
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