According to a new study, people who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life. The US study was conducted by following nearly 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year-period. Participants’ ages ranged from 52 to 105, with an average age of 81 years old and all participants were dementia-free at the outset. Through interviews, medical and death records, the study found that, in general, those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily. Research has shown that inflammation caused by gum disease-related bacteria is a contributing factor to multiple conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Some studies have also found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains than a person without Alzheimer’s. This has led researchers to speculate that gum disease bacteria may get into the brain, causing inflammation and brain damage.
3 Easy Tips to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene:
- Brush Regularly – help remove food and plaque — A sticky film that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria. After you eat a meal or snack that contains sugar, the bacteria can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Thus, brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended. Brushing your teeth for 2 minutes is advised.
- Go for regular dental checkups – Most people can make do with dental checkups once a year, while those with high risk of cavities or gum disease should visit the dentist at least once every 3 or 4 months.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables – A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables can help to prevent gum disease.
With gum disease being linked to numerous illnesses, oral hygiene should definitely be our top priority. Regular dental checkups are advised.
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