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Now is the time to focus on solutions. A recent study has revealed a strong connection between gum disease and the formation of plaque that leads to Alzheimer’s. This discovery emphasizes the importance of proactive gum care in significantly reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Gum disease harms more than just the mouth
Research from the Forsyth Institute reveals that oral bacteria not only damage gums but also contribute to systemic health problems. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream, affecting organs like the heart, colon, and brain. Furthermore, the study establishes a clear connection between gum disease and the formation of amyloid plaque, a key factor in Alzheimer’s disease.
This groundbreaking research underscores the significance of maintaining good oral hygiene practices and seeking early treatment for gum disease. By doing so, you can improve your gum health and potentially reduce the risk of developing systemic conditions and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
How gum disease triggers Alzheimer’s development
The medical community has been warning the public about amyloid plaque for years. Although this issue is not the only reason for brain dysfunction, an excessive buildup of plaque should be avoided.
This protein variant is associated with cellular death and cognitive decline in individuals affected by Alzheimer’s. In the study titled “Microglial cell response to experimental periodontal disease,” published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroinflammation, researchers from Boston University and Forsyth Institute provided evidence that gum disease has a profound impact on brain cells known as microglial cells, which are responsible for safeguarding the brain against the formation of amyloid plaque. The resulting neuroinflammation adversely affects cognitive abilities, including memory. Previous research has also demonstrated that inflammation caused by gum disease triggers inflammatory reactions within the brain.
Microglial cells, similar to white blood cells, are designed to eliminate amyloid plaque. However, the groundbreaking study revealed that oral bacteria excessively stimulate microglial cells, causing them to enlarge to a point where they can no longer effectively remove plaque formations. This ultimately paves the way for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums
To maintain healthy gums, practicing thorough and gentle oral hygiene is crucial. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget to clean both the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, along with your gums. Brushing your tongue also helps eliminate bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
In addition to brushing, don’t neglect flossing and the use of a Hydro Floss machine. Make it a daily habit to remove plaque and debris by gently flossing between your teeth and along the gum line. Take your time and be careful not to irritate your gums.
These tools effectively clean hard-to-reach areas and can be an alternative or complement to simply brushing your teeth. Worth noting, daily use of a Hydro Floss can actually reduce the size of pockets in your gums associated with inflammation, oral infections and gum disease.
Naturally, a balanced (organic) diet is essential for overall oral health, including gum health. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet as they provide essential nutrients for healthy gums. Limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, as they contribute to tooth decay and gum inflammation. And, if you have gum disease, do not eat “sticky” foods – even if they are organic – such as those energy or food bars.
Stay hydrated! Drinking water throughout the day helps keep your mouth moist, stimulates saliva production, and aids in washing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.
One of the most crucial steps you can take for your gum health is to avoid tobacco products altogether. Smoking and chewing tobacco are strongly linked to gum disease and other oral health problems. And, finally, to keep your teeth and gums clean …consider oil pulling as part of your healthy habits. You’ll love the results.
Disclaimer: This article is not a medical advice.