Periodontal disease is not a condition that most people associate with neurological conditions. However, research has suggested that this dental condition may also exacerbate brain and neurological conditions. In this article, we help you understand periodontal disease better and tell you of the potential link to other serious medical conditions.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease refers to a condition where bacteria attack the gums in your mouth. Without any intervention, this condition may lead to the loss of teeth and jaw bone mass. The condition mainly occurs if the victim does not practice proper oral hygiene or does not go for dental checkups by a dentist. Bacteria builds up on the teeth, feeding off sugars and pieces of food that get lodged in the teeth. The result of this is a corrosive acid that wears down the enamel. People who suffer from this problem are likely to be consuming fizzy sugary drinks whose acid further weaken the enamel. As the infection spreads, it leads to cavities, and eventually, the tooth is lost.
There is growing evidence however that the harmful effects of periodontal disease do not end there. Researchers have linked the disease to other medical conditions.
Link Between Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological condition where the brain gradually loses certain critical functions such as memory and thinking. This is caused by damage to the brain cells thus affecting the healthy function of the brain. Eventually, the patient loses all ability to function normally as they often cannot remember family members and other loved ones. In recent studies, researchers have found that bacteria from the mouth can make their way to the brain and damage brain cells. This increases the chances that the affected person will suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Managing Periodontal Disease
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease at the moment, the good news is that periodontal disease can easily be prevented and treated. As mentioned earlier, periodontal disease is linked to bacterial infection and so keeping bacteria at bay is the key to avoiding periodontal disease. This means regularly brushing and flossing your teeth to remove bacteria and food particles from your teeth. Another step that you can take to keep gum disease at bay is to eat the right kind of food. In particular, avoid sugary drinks as they also weaken your enamel, making it easy for bacteria to destroy your tooth. Finally, using fluoride-based toothpaste to brush your teeth helps to strengthen your enamel.
One way to safeguard from periodontal disease is to ensure that you go for regular dental exams. Periodontal disease is a gradual condition and if caught early, is easy to treat. Regular visits to your dentist ensure that the condition never develops into a serious problem.
Dr. Alex Rubinov is an experienced dental practitioner in New York. The practice offers a range of services including teeth whitening, smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics, to name but a few. Contact the team at (718) 253-0800 for an appointment.