Many dental professionals cut the body off just below the nose! However, research has connected systemic health to the many things below the mouth. The oral systemic link is real, and we all know that and salivary diagnostics helps us connect the dots. Dental professionals spend time educating patients about the links between oral health and heart health, diabetes, and preterm low birth weight babies, to name a few. And now research is connecting oral health to structures above the mouth…namely the brain. Let’s get to the top of things!
I can certainly understand that brain health research isn’t on the minds of most people. I’m sure it wouldn’t be on mine if my dad wasn’t dying from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Often referred to as “The 3 Pound Universe,” the brain is the absolute most important organ in the human body. The brain is the origin of every thought we have, every movement we make, and every emotion we feel as human beings. Of all the diseases we can be diagnosed with, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most feared. And yet, we don’t hear much about taking care of our brains to reduce the risk of a diagnosis.
I have spent the last several years researching this topic and have spent countless hours speaking with professionals in the world of brain health. There are many measures we can take to keep our brains intact. Brain health is a logical dental chairside conversation, especially given that research shows poor oral health is connected to the risk, onset, and progression of AD.
Bringing up the topic of AD may be uncomfortable, especially if we don’t have a good understanding of the disease. It may also be painful to start a conversation if we have had a loved one who suffered or is suffering from AD currently. I understand how you feel. My dad is the third generation of our family to be losing his life to this monster. I wish someone would have taken time to share information with me before I ended up on this journey with the first man I loved. I also wish I would have known more about AD so I could have shared my knowledge with my patients. Who knows how many brains I could have saved and subsequently, lives.
But here is the blessing. We learn best from our pain. I have managed to take the pain and knowledge and turn it into opportunities for others to learn what I wish I would have known. I will be sharing much of what I have learned about AD, during my Free Masterclass: “Dispelling the Myths of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.”
Let’s dispel some myths together!
- There Is More in The Head Than The Mouth - February 24, 2023
- Connecting the Mouth and the Brain Through Bacteria - June 12, 2020