Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.It has also been demonstrated on brain imaging that the brain matter actually shrinks in this condition.
Dementia is not a specific disease.According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
So, what’s the connection to oral health?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when a buildup of plaque causes swelling and infections around the teeth.Long standing inflammation allows some mouth bacteria to enter the blood stream in low levels that wont cause full blown disease but will set up the body to be self destructive. the mouth bacteria will cause the vascular type of dementia as they lead to blood vessel damage in the brain.Sometimes the damage is massive leading to a stroke but most times, the damage is very minimal affecting a few brain cells without causing immediate disability but over the long run will lead to debilitation by wasting away of the brain, leading to such symptoms as memory loss.Studies have indicated that dementia patients with gum disease tend to deteriorate at a faster rate.
Having gum disease could increase the risk for dementia up to 70%
The most compelling data came from the journal of Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy which shows that people who suffer from gum disease for more than ten years were significantly more likely to develop dementia. Stats like these are the reason we do what we do as we want to educate and empower people to take their oral health seriously.
We are extremely convicted that your mouth is the conduit of health for your entire body which means that you must take your oral health seriously to prevent the onset of some of the most debilitating conditions.