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Understanding the link between Alzheimer’s disease and dental health

Experiencing changes to our physical and emotional health is common as we age. A natural part of life is the aging process, during which we reach our senior years and need to pay close attention to our overall health and wellness. Additionally, dental care is just as important. Without proper oral hygiene habits, conditions such as periodontal disease can develop. This infection can spread through the bloodstream and put patients at risk for a wide range of problems, including the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Dr. John Pappas of Arcadia Dental Arts is a dentist who describes Alzheimer’s disease as one of the most common forms of dementia. This disease attacks the brain and reduces mental abilities. As it worsens, it impacts one’s daily functioning and has a significant affect one one’s quality of life.

What is the connection?

It has been found that patients who have chronic periodontal disease and gum inflammation present for a decade or longer had a 70% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This statistic shows the significance of periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s risk.

Can periodontal disease be avoided?

Periodontal disease is an infection that is completely avoidable with proper oral health habits. While some patients may be at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease due to coexisting conditions, routine evaluations and treatments at a dental office can provide marked improvement. Periodontal disease is avoided with brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits.

How do I know if periodontal disease is present?

There are very noticeable signs and symptoms of periodontal disease that should be evaluated by a dental professional as soon as possible. These include:

  • Red, swollen gum tissues
  • Inflammation in the soft tissues
  • Persistent halitosis (bad breath)
  • Bleeding while brushing and flossing
  • Bone loss of the jaw
  • Loose or lost natural, permanent teeth

Prevent periodontal disease from occurring to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

At Arcadia Dental Arts in Phoenix, AZ, we work with patients to help them take charge of their oral health and fight conditions such as periodontal disease that may impact both their mouth AND their bodies! Call our practice at (602) 957-9643 and visit us at our facility, conveniently located at 4124 North 40th Street.

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