The surface of the concept of oral-systemic health (oral and overall health) has barely been scratched by scientists. All over the world, time and money have been dedicated to research that shows compelling evidence that the various bacteria in our mouths that cause gum disease and tooth decay could very well be contributing to life-threatening…
The surface of the concept of oral-systemic health (oral and overall health) has barely been scratched by scientists. All over the world, time and money have been dedicated to research that shows compelling evidence that the various bacteria in our mouths that cause gum disease and tooth decay could very well be contributing to life-threatening health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. New York University scientists have uncovered even more data that periodontal disease is implicated in more than just dental health. Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, will describe the details of the NYU research that links Alzheimer’s to gum disease.
Gum Disease: A Precursor to Alzheimer’s?
Assistant Professor of Periodontology & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Angela Kamer, is an expert on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease in connection to oral health. In fact, she’s been researching this very topic since for almost half a decade. Dr. Kamer’s earlier study looked at the plasma of Alzheimer’s patients. There antibodies and inflammatory molecules that are found in conjunction with gum disease were calculated to be at a higher level in patients that also showed signs of Alzheimer’s. Continuing in this direction, Kamer and her team have been studying further statistics and data to connect dental health and memory loss up to the present day. Noted Dr. Kamer: “The research suggests that cognitively normal subjects with periodontal inflammation are at an increased risk of lower cognitive function compared to cognitively normal subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation.”
Looking Out for Our Elders
Watching our loved ones (and ourselves) age can be frightening and difficult, but we can also tackle the inevitable matter in a proactive way. Setting in place schedules and help for people that are beginning to show signs of age-related memory loss can help prevent gum disease and bigger dental issues. It will be easy for them to forget the simple things such as brushing teeth and flossing. Sometimes creating a daily checklist can help, and geriatric counselors can be consulted to get more tips on how to deal with the challenges of keeping hygiene practices a regular part of daily life for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping up dental appointments is important, and depending on the situation, your dentist might suggest more frequent cleanings to make up for daily neglect.
Dental Checkups in Knoxville
It’s National Alzheimer’s Awareness month. If you are the caretaker of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, make sure that their regular dental checkups are being kept up with. Contact our 37919 dentist office at 865-240-2035. We are happy to serve patients in West Knoxville, the Bearden area, and surrounding neighborhoods.