Your Kentucky dentist would like to acknowledge Alzheimer’s awareness month by describing the connection between gum disease and brain health. Anyone with poor oral health habits can develop gum disease, but when these habits have such serious repercussion, why engage in them?

What is Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of any of the periodontal tissues, including gums, the jawbone, and the tissues that connect them. Periodontal disease, or gum disease can cause serious harm not only to your gums and bones, but to other parts of your body as well, including your heart and brain. The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If your gums are red and swollen you may have gingivitis, but with careful attention to your daily oral health regimen and consultation with your Erlanger dentist, you can work to rid yourself of infection without suffering any long-term repercussions. If, however, you do not treat gingivitis promptly, it can progress to the much more serious periodontitis. In this stage of gum disease gums become severely compromised. They will be very swollen, and bleed easily. Advanced stages of gum disease cause gums and the alveolar bone to become so infected that they can no longer properly carry out their function of support tooth roots. Most cases of tooth loss are a direct result of gum disease that has gone untreated.

Gum Disease and Brain Health

As the body utilizes all its immune functions to fight off gum disease, it can flood the body with particles that cause inflammation not only in the gums, but in other areas as well. Of particular interest to your Kentucky dentist is the inflammation of the brain caused by gum disease. Multiple studies have been conducted showing that the body’s immune response to gum disease has direct effects on brain health and cognitive ability. Those who have suffered or do suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to score lower on tests of cognitive ability. Similarly there is a direct correlation between incidences of gum disease and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Meet With Dr. Henry Today

If caught early, gum disease is curable, so schedule an appointment today. You can reach our Kentucky dental office at (859) 344 – 8500. We gladly serve patients from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Fort Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and surrounding communities.