Dementia in Oklahoma City, OK is a major health concern. One of the most common forms, Alzheimer's disease, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidents, and stroke. Many studies point to a link between poor oral health and this disease. That is why Dr. Van Horn educates our patients, young and old, at Southern Smiles Dental PC about the importance of maintaining the health of their teeth and gums.


Bacteria, Inflammation and Cognitive Decline


There are a few ways in which there might be a connection with oral health: bacteria and inflammation. In studies reviewing the brains of patients with cognitive decline and those without, four of the ten patients suffering from this affliction also had bacteria connected with gum disease in their brain.


Other studies have pointed to excess inflammation in the brain as a contributing factor to Alzheimer's disease. Periodontal disease triggers inflammation that might lead to systemic inflammation, ultimately leading to neuroinflammation that might also contribute to degeneration of the brain.


Tooth Loss and Cognitive Function


Another way in which your oral health in Oklahoma City, OK might impact your brain health is through chewing. Studies have found a link between tooth loss and cognitive decline that might be attributed to chewing problems. The process of chewing stimulates your hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that regulates learning and memory.


Chewing problems might lead to degeneration in this area that might impact cognitive function. Studies have found associations with poor chewing ability and poor cognitive function, including an increased risk of dementia. Therefore, you want to maintain your natural teeth as much as possible to retain your natural chewing mechanism to stimulate your brain and keep it active.


Schedule an Appointment


There are ways to mitigate your risk of turning your teeth issues into damaging your brain health. Contact us at (405) 757-2122 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Van Horn to review your current health and develop a protocol to treat and prevent gum disease.