Is there a relationship between keeping your teeth and preserving your memory? Experts think so. In a study published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, more than 4,200 Japanese seniors (aged 65 or older) underwent both a thorough dental examination and a psychological evaluation. The investigators found that those with fewer of their own teeth were at increased risk of memory loss or early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the University of South California also found that missing teeth and chronic inflammation of the mouth in youth and young adulthood quadruples the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In our office, we have paid particular attention to these studies, since our patients’ lifelong health is a concern. If you think oral bacteria and its link to dementia are a stretch, consider this: oral health impacts the ability to eat, which is essential to overall health. If dementia exists or progresses, oral health conditions become more complex. One common complaint is that dementia patients can be less cooperative; often experiencing difficulties with chewing and swallowing as their dementia progresses. Malnutrition is a major concern for dementia sufferers.
We understand the importance of gentle treatment; recognizing that patients with dementia with have a deep need for extra care, kindness and respect. We also know that twice-yearly checkups are a must for this patient group. If you believe a healthy smile dramatically affects a person’s sense of dignity, and you have a family member or friend with dementia symptoms, please call us to customize a special experience in our office for your loved one.