It seems like not a day goes by that you don’t read emerging oral health news and discover yet another illness or condition linked to poor oral health. From difficulties conceiving to an increased risk of diabetes and stroke, neglecting your oral health can take a major toll on the rest of your body. Now a new study has revealed two more reasons you should pay attention to your oral health: cancer and dementia.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe several conditions that cause the loss of at least two brain functions, including cognitive functions such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. One form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is the sixth most common cause of death in America. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated one in three seniors will die of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
But now a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that having periodontal disease, missing teeth or cavities puts you at a higher risk for dementia, making it even more important to keep on top of your oral health throughout your life than initially thought.
While researchers have found links between oral health and certain cancers before (oral cancer, throat cancer), a study from Sweden and Finland discovered that the very same bacteria present in those with periodontal disease was also present in the pancreases of patients with pancreatic cancer, linking the two conditions.
The good news, if there can be any in these situations, is that with excellent oral hygiene, you can reduce your risk of developing these fatal illnesses. All you need is a toothbrush, dental floss and toothpaste.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call the office at (858) 866-9692.