Is There a Link Between Oral Health and Dementia?

Is There a Link Between Oral Health and Dementia?


Neglecting the health of your teeth and gums has been demonstrated time and time again to lead to pain, gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. For some people those reasons are not enough, so in a previous article titled “Poor Dental Hygiene’s Disastrous Effects” we highlighted your oral health’s connection to Alzheimer’s Disease, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. That long and very frightening list can now expand to include one more unfortunate disease: dementia.

A study out of the University of California has found a connection between daily brushing and a lowered risk of developing dementia in your later years. The study was found in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and included 5,468 people over an 18 year period. Over that period roughly 1100 of those did end up developing dementia.

The female participants in the study had a 65% greater chance of ultimately developing dementia if they did not brush daily. With men the link did appear to be present as well though not as strongly, with a 22% increased chance of developing this unfortunate mental deterioration. Although it’s not clear that this link is a clear cut “cause-and-effect” case, there was another study done that linked tooth loss and dementia in 2007 from the Journal of the American Dental Association. That study pointed out that participants with less teeth were more likely to develop dementia than other elderly people who still had more of their teeth.

If you want to avoid some of these more disastrous consequences that come with a lack of emphasis on oral hygiene, contact Prescott Dentistry today to schedule your dental cleaning. Remember to brush twice daily for at least 2 minutes and floss once a day.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/10/2015) Xavi Talleda (Flickr)