This article will explain the benefits of Brushing Teeth to Prevent Dementia. Do you want to know some strange health news (strange to some, at least)?
The condition of your teeth and gums could increase (or decrease) your chances of developing dementia. Yep, if your teeth and gums aren’t in tip-top shape you could be on your way to a rather unpleasant old age. As if we didn’t have enough reasons to brush twice a day.
The findings aren’t just based on a study of a small sample of old people over a two-month period – as some scientifically unsound studies are. Instead, scientists from the University of California spent nearly 20 years following a group of around 5500 old people. They looked at all aspects of oral health, especially the number of times people brushed their teeth per day.
A good case for twice a day
It’s long been recommended that people brush their teeth twice a day. Not only is good for your teeth and gums (and tongue) but it’s also considerate to the people around you. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who don’t follow this advice and think nothing of brushing their teeth once a day, or even less. Apparently, old people are not immune from the once-a-day brushing phenomenon, as the study showed.
More importantly, the study showed that brushing less increased the risk of dementia by up to 65%.
Cause and effect are difficult to determine, however, as lead researcher Dr Annlia Paganini -Hill says. This is because people who have dementia are more likely to forget to brush their teeth than those without dementia. But Dr Paganini-Hill adds that there could be a link between oral health habits and your vulnerability to dementia.
The findings support other studies which have shown that there could be a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Also Read: Periodontal Disease Treatments
The study has received some criticism from medical and scientific fraternities. For example, some doctors say that the study had a limited vision of what passes for oral health and gum disease. The fact that the researchers didn’t actually conduct dental exams, preferring to rely on word-of-mouth (as it were) also counts against them.
Dr Amber Watts, from the University of Kansas and who is something of an expert on dementia, says that doctors can’t go around telling people that brushing their teeth twice daily will help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.
She did say, however, that it would be nice if the link could be conclusively proven because then it would give people something proactive to do. And, it would improve oral health all around, which is no bad thing.