Could Poor Dental Health Affect Your Brain?

There is no question that the condition of your oral health affects your entire body. You’ve probably heard that gum disease in particular can be linked to stroke, heart disease, diabetes and premature births when left untreated. However, could dental negligence really affect your brain, or be associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s?

Dental negligence is improper or lack of care for your gums and teeth. It is commonly associated with gum disease and decay. These oral health conditions involve excessive bacteria in the mouth. Unfortunately, this bacteria triggers an immune response that can cause problems in the brain. The bacteria that travels to the brain can potentially cause and worsen Alzheimer’s disease.

While there is yet to be a clear-cut link between dementia and dental negligence, there is enough evidence to make a very strong point that routine dental care should be a top priority. There have been many studies that show potential links between poor oral health and Alzheimer’s disease. One 2013 study from the University of Central Lancashire in the UK found atypical bacteria in the brains of those who had Alzheimer’s disease. The bacteria, named Porphyromonas gingivalis, is the same type of bacteria found in chronic gum disease.

When someone has severe gum disease or other evidence of dental negligence, invasive dental treatment is often needed. During the procedure, the harmful bacteria is at a great risk for entering the bloodstream and finding its way to the brain. The body responds to eliminate the bad bacteria, but this immune response also releases chemicals that destroy neurons in the brain. Unfortunately, the process aggravates symptoms of confusion and memory loss.

To learn more about the link between your oral health and your body health, please visit Park South Dentistry. We understand the importance of optimal dental care in terms of preventing certain diseases as well as managing them properly.

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