This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dental Hygiene and Dementia...

I read an article yesterday in our daily newspaper, The Las Vegas Review-Journal by Kristen Hallam.  In the article, Hallam states British researchers in London have determined poor dental hygiene is being linked to Alzheimer's.

A bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis were found in four out of ten samples of brain tissue taken from Alzheimer's  patients, while no signs of the disease were found in brains of ten other people of similar age who did not have Alzheimer's; according to their article in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The results supported the findings of the the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream through chewing or having a tooth removed and travels to other parts of the body, including the brain. After long periods of time, the build up is believed to contribute to the cause of Alzheimer's, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

The obvious goal is to improve on one's dental hygiene and to prevent the build up of bacteria causing gum disease.  Alzheimer's affect the elderly, but some studies show earlier onset of the disease on younger people in their fifties.

"The World Health Organization predicted dementia cases would triple to 115 million in 2050 from 36 million worldwide in 2010."


My Dad should have had his teeth cleaned every 3 or 4 months because of the unusually heavy tartar his body produced in his mouth.  I too inherited this heavy tartar, but have my teeth cleaned regularly every six months and am phobic about flossing and brushing my teeth with my trusty Phillips sonicare electric toothbrush.

Dad always used a regular toothbrush and Close Up Cinnamon flavored toothpaste.  I used to work in a dental office as an assistant and oral health consultant.  I urged Dad to floss and bought him floss and discussed the importance of new toothbrushes and electric teeth brushes.  Dad always wanted to things "old school" and "natural" so he would occasionally use baking soda and water.

I had read about the dental hygiene factor before and remember thinking of Dad at that particular time....

At this point, it is too late for my Dad...but those of you going through the early signs of dementia with a loved one, may take extra measures to insure their dental hygiene.  Personally, I think everyone could benefit from better dental hygiene, but that is just my opinion.


Chatty Crone said...

I am going to post this again - I just read it on another site. I do take care of my teeth. But I still get brain freeze! sandie

Mari said...

I read the same report. Very interesting!