As the life expectancy of Americans increases, scientists are forecasting a rise in Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses. Could there be another contributor, though? New research has emerged that reveals a connection between gum and brain health. As you read on, learn how untreated gum disease could be a cause of Alzheimer’s in Midtown East.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
When bacteria are allowed to gather, they can eventually form a super-structure called plaque, which is a sticky, clear substance that contributes to the decay of the teeth and gums. If plaque is allowed to gather on the teeth and along the gum line, it can eventually work its way beneath the gums to cause inflammation and infection.
This is referred to as gum disease, a condition that affects the majority of the adults in America. While the disease can cause gum bleeding, foul breath and the eventual deterioration of teeth roots, its effects aren’t just limited to the mouth and gums.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GUM AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASES
The bacterial infection associated with gum disease can result in plaque entering the bloodstream. The infected blood then flows throughout the rest of the body, including the brain.
While the latter has a natural protective component called the blood-brain barrier that blocks most microbes from entering, a type of oral bacteria called P. gingivitis has demonstrated the ability to permeate the brain’s defenses.
As a result, dental plaque is allowed to run haywire in the brain, and it can eventually contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The latter is a neuro-degenerative condition that deteriorates the limbic system, the portion of the brain that maintains long-term memories.
TREATING GUM DISEASE – THE BIGGER PICTURE
Based on the emergence of the above-mentioned information, treating gum disease should be given an even higher priority. Therefore, if you’ve noticed bleeding, puffy, swollen, red or irritated gums, it’s best to not ignore the warning signs.
Here are some of the common treatment methods:
- Scaling and Root Planing – One of the more common ways to treat gum disease is with a scaling and root planing procedure, which is also referred to as a deep cleaning. It involves removing bacteria beneath the gums and smoothing the roots of the teeth to prevent any new bacteria accumulation.
- Laser Dentistry – A more convenient and comfortable way to restore your gum health is to undergo laser therapy with the Biolase® system. Because of its less invasive approach, no local anesthesia is required.
The important point to keep in mind is the inner-connectedness of the different parts of your body. Thus, treating gum disease can add years to your life, and by helping to fight Alzheimer’s disease, it can also add life to your years. To enjoy better overall health, contact your dentist in Midtown East today.
About the Author
Dr. Theodore Aaronson earned his dental degree from New York University’s College of Dentistry. He has since gone on to provide over 45 years of expert care. A respected professional who is called upon by local news organizations to share his expertise, Dr. Aaronson treats gum disease at his private practice. He can be reached for more information through his website.