Brushing your teeth daily could reduce Alzheimer’s risk

Brushing your teeth daily could reduce Alzheimer's risk

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    According to a new study, maintaining good oral health would of course reduce oral inflammation, but also the risk of brain disease and cognitive decline.

    The idea is not new: good oral health goes hand in hand with good general health. It has already been established that dental problems can play a role in certain cardiac pathologies or the onset of diabetes. But a study conducted by the University of Kansas, and published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society goes further: people who maintain good oral health can reduce their risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Conversely, people with poor dental hygiene are 21% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

    Tooth loss and dementia are statistically associated

    To arrive at this hypothesis, the scientific team sifted through 5 databases of existing medical studies and cross-referenced periodontal health and cognitive decline data on more than 4,000 files. In many cases, poor periodontal health (reflected by periodontitis, tooth loss, or alveolar bone loss) was associated with both cognitive decline and dementia.

    “From a clinical perspective, our findings underscore the importance of periodontal health monitoring and management in the context of dementia prevention,” write the authors of the study. “Our mouth is full of bacteria (good and bad). We need these bacteria to live in balance and when our dental hygiene is lacking, the bad bacteria can overcome and settle in our gums. There is evidence that bacteria can travel to the brain and participate in neurodegeneration that will ultimately diminish our cognitive health.”

    The same bacteria found in the mouth and the brain

    For Dr. Christophe Lequart, dentist and national spokesperson for the UFSBD (French Union for Oral Health), the statistical study is further proof of the need to take care of your mouth. “There is no evidence yet that the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease have an effect on cognitive impairment. However, it is indeed observed today that so-called ‘red complex’ bacteria are found in brains suffering from Alzheimer’s. These same bacteria that are also the most aggressive in periodontal disease. We can therefore assume that periodontal disease is a contributing factor to the onset of dementia and cognitive disorders. he develops, thus recalling that the mouth is a gateway to the body to be taken into account.

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    What is good dental health?

    However, the doctor also reminds that good oral hygiene is not complicated to maintain, and does not require special effort.

    • Morning and evening brushing for 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities;
    • An interdental cleaning morning and evening also with dental floss or an interdental brush;
    • An annual check-up visit to your dentist to detect gum disease, for example, or a six-monthly visit in the event of known damage;
    • A consultation in case of dental or gingival problem.

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