Admit it: you’re not taking care of your gums like you should. Flossing is something you do maybe twice a week, and although you know the blood appearing on your toothbrush isn’t good, you don’t think much of it once you’re done brushing. This is a dangerous way of thinking, and can, in fact, be harmful to your overall health, which includes brain function. Ever heard of Alzheimer’s? Well, studies have shown there is a connection between gum health and this devastating disease. If you never want to experience its devastating effects, listen to what a dentist in Blackwell has to say on the topic.
Why Are Healthy Gums Important?
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, an estimated 75% of Americans have gum disease, and many may not even realize they have it. If your teeth and gums stay healthy, you are more apt to keep your natural teeth for many years and have a complete smile that is the envy of others. You’re also lessening the chances of developing harmful health-related conditions that can be connected to bad oral habits. These can include cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections.
Want to keep your natural teeth? Make sure you’re taking care of your gums. If periodontitis develops, you can lose teeth and be faced with needing a tooth replacement solution to maintain bone strength and an aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
How Can Unhealthy Gums Lead to Negative Brain Function?
If you do develop gum disease, you can expect there to be some level of inflammation. When bacteria and plaque build around the gum line, your gums will not only become red and puffy, but they can become inflamed and begin to bleed.
As the bacteria builds, it can enter your bloodstream and cause various cardiovascular diseases to develop, including diabetes and heart disease. Bacterial buildup can also lead to a loss of cognitive brain function associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, patients with the bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, not only have poor oral hygiene, but they also are more likely to have dementia. Once the bacteria reach the brain, they can cause inflammation and destroy beneficial neurons, resulting in memory loss.
What Are Some Preventative Measures You Can Take?
One of the most effective ways to stay on top of your oral health is to visit your dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Additionally, you should:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
- Floss at least once a day, making sure to thoroughly clean between each tooth
- Eat a balanced diet, avoiding sugary snacks and acidic foods and drinks
If you’re concerned at all about the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s, take the necessary steps to ensure your oral health remains in tip-top shape.
About the Author
Dr. Aaron Neale, DDS, attended the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and graduated in 2010. He and his fellow team of experts at Blackwell Dentistry want to ensure you not only receive modern, comprehensive oral healthcare but that you also never feel like a number. Your oral and overall health is of the utmost importance, and it is evident with the family-friend atmosphere, patient-centered treatment, and high-quality dental care provided. For questions or to learn more about our services, contact us at (580) 262-8420.