People Who Keep Their Teeth Clean Lower Their Dementia Risk

There are lots of reasons to maintain your oral health by visiting your Plantation dentist: A nice smile, fresh breath, increased functionality when eating, and even, it turns out, a lower risk of dementia.

A University of Southern California study found that there was a connection between how well people took care of their teeth and their risk of dementia.

For the study, researchers followed more than 5,400 older adults with a median age of 81 years for 18 years, from 1992 to 2010.

People who did not brush their teeth daily had a 22 to 65 percent greater risk of dementia than those who brushed three times a day, the researchers found.

In addition, men who did not have enough of their teeth remaining to be able to chew properly had a 91 percent greater risk of dementia than those who had more than 10 functional upper teeth and more than six lower teeth.

And poor oral hygiene may contribute to other health issues as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, there appears to be some connection between oral health and heart disease, although more research is needed.

Experts from the American Heart Association concluded after reviewing scientific studies poor oral health hasn’t been proved to cause heart disease, and treating existing gum disease won’t necessarily reduce the risk of heart disease.

But studies have also shown a connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and heart disease and that people with chronic gum disease have increased thickness of their neck blood vessels.

There is also evidence that people with diabetes benefit from professional teeth cleanings.

Even though oral health isn’t a key to heart disease prevention, it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months — or sooner if the bristles become bent.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.

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