Improving dental hygiene might slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s disease.
A paper published in March, 2016, PlosOne, by Mark Ide and colleagues at Guy’s Hospital, in London, looked at the association between disease symptoms, chronic inflammation, and rate of cognitive decline.
Those study participants diagnosed with periodontitis (gum disease) at the start of the study declined much more rapidly that those without this disease. Periodontitis was associated with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline.
These findings suggest that improving dental hygiene might slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients. We should be more proactive promoting dental hygiene in patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Brushing your teeth effectively, regular professional dental cleanings, and various dental hygiene tools and even supplements may slow the rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. For example, topical curcumin gels, dilute green tea mouthwash, berberine and even walking or light exercise have been shown to slow both periodontitis and cognitive decline.
The continuous, long lasting infection that characterizes periodontitis seems to provoke a the Alzheimer’s disease triggering response in the brain.
If you are a care giver of someone or yourself showing signs of cognitive decline than improved dental hygiene, regular professional cleanings, and even some supplements may help you and your loved ones.
Ide M, et al. , “Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease”, PlosOne, 2016 Mar 10; 11 (3): e0151081.
Schor, Jacob, ND, FABNO, “Dental Hygiene Slows Alzheimer’s Decline”, Townsend Letter, October, 2017, pp88-89.