The Mouth-Mind Connection: How Oral Health Influences Brain Health: Part 2

Last week, in Part 1, we explored the significant connection between oral health and brain health, highlighting how bacteria in the mouth can contribute to diseases like dementia, and outlined the three main types of dementia: Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, and Parkinson's. This week, in Part 2, we will delve deeper into the demographic that is most affected by dementia and strategies for prevention. Why Are Elderly Most Affected? As a patient’s cognitive ability declines, so does their ora...
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The Mouth-Mind Connection: How Oral Health Influences Brain Health: Part 1

The mind and the mouth are more connected than you might have thought, but hey, they are only a few inches away from one another. As we’ve talked about with previous diseases and conditions, our oral health is directly connected (through all those annoying bacteria) to the overall health of our bodies. And in the case of our brains, this means the bacteria in our mouths can significantly contribute to one of the most devastating diseases, dementia. Better oral health equals less bacteria, whi...
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How do you speak Dementia/Brain Health and Periodontal Disease with your patients?

Dr. McGlennen: Concerning dementia and brain health, recent medical studies point to poor oral health, and high levels of the bacteria in our gums with the increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia1-3. Specifically, there is now evidence of the oral pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), present in brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid and it may be involved with the production of the abnormal proteins that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease4.  Additionally, the d...
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There Is More in The Head Than The Mouth

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…nam...
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The Oral Systemic Connection: A Risk Reduction Approach

I have greatly enjoyed being a dental hygienist for over 30 years. Something that still fascinates me is the oral health and whole-body health connections. As a constant student, I have studied bidirectional and causal relationships amongst oral pathogens and a host of chronic diseases. In fact, over two decades ago, the surgeon general spoke about periodontal disease effects, and we now know there are established associations to 57 adverse health conditions, associated with periodontal dise...
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Oral Hygiene and Cognition By: Ram Rao, PhD

A nice, friendly smile is visually attractive and is also a sign of good oral hygiene practice and cognitive health. Numerous studies have found a close connection between poor oral hygiene and dementia. Studies have found that those with poor oral hygiene practices are at higher risk for dementia, and dementia patients are at higher risk for developing gum disease. Poor oral hygiene and inadequate nutrition are likely the primary drivers for the risk of gum disease in dementia patients, par...
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Unlock the Secret to Successful Medical – Dental Collaboration

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is on the rise in the United States. Until now it has been thought to be a terminal disease with no cure. However, all that is changing with the development of a precision medicine method called ReCODE (Reversal of COgnitive DEcline). This cutting-edge method has been taught around the world to physicians & health coaches and now the dental team has an exciting opportunity to get involved. As the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., AD is the most common type...
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