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Periodontitis Could Affect Parkinson’S Disease

Dr Martin Abelar - August 31, 2021 - 0 comments

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects the movement of the muscles. It affects approximately one million Americans, and there is no cure. In fact, we still have little answers when it comes to this debilitating illness.
Now, a recent study from the Catholic University of Korea in South Korea has found a link between Parkinson’s disease and periodontitis.
The study examined data from 6,825,684 people over the age of  40 years, for a span of around eight years, from 2009 to 2017. What it found was more bad news for people with Parkinson’s disease. 
It seems that among those with periodontitis, they were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, especially if their periodontitis was left untreated.  Periodontitis, or gum disease, is an illness that causes inflammation of the gums, which can lead to gum tissue loss, bone loss, and tooth loss.
It requires special care at the dentist to treat and can be reversible if caught in the gingivitis stage For those who underwent periodontal treatments such as deep cleaning procedures at their dentist such as root planing and scaling, their periodontitis not only improved, but their risk of Parkinson’s disease declined as well.
Researchers also noted a link between poor oral hygiene and Parkinson’s disease, because often persons with Parkinson’s disease struggle to care for their oral hygiene due to their muscular movement. Parkinson’s often affects the hands, which are clearly vital for maintaining oral hygiene by brushing and flossing.
If you have periodontitis, you can still cut your risk of developing illnesses like Parkinson’s disease by diligently caring for your teeth and gums. This includes brushing and flossing twice per day, using mouth wash, and attending regular dental exams. Dr. Abelar may also prescribe further intervention such as root scaling and planing, or laser gum treatments designed to reduce gingival pockets, which can harbor dangerous bacteria that cause periodontitis.
While the research team could not determine if periodontitis causes Parkinson’s disease, the link between the two serious conditions is clear and warrants further investigation. It also highlights the importance of treating periodontal diseases, as they can affect many systems and illnesses of the body.

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