Is There a Connection between Poor Oral Health and Dementia?
Decades of research points to the connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular conditions. It’s a correlation that patients need to understand. After all, 46% of people over 30 show signs of periodontal disease and 68% of those over 65 have it, according to the CDC.
Theories are based on the premise that bacteria in the mouth can migrate into the bloodstream. This can cause an increase in C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Bacteria in the bloodstream may attach to plaques in the blood vessels contributing to clot formation which can lead to stroke and/or heart attack.
Periodontal disease has also been linked in literature to COPD, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
A recent study from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine shows specific mouth bacteria can lead to neurodegeneration and dementia. The Tufts study is just the latest in studies linking harmful bacteria with amyloid beta – a key biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.
Remember – that your oral health is tied to your body’s health and poor oral health puts you at risk for an array of diseases.