Link Between Poor Oral Health and Dementia Found

Dentists

DentistsResearchers found that poor oral health could be a factor in recognising early signs of dementia. Many studies in the past revealed a link between the two conditions. Health organisations in the UK are now looking forward to working with dentists to detect dementia earlier and prevent the risks of other serious health problems.

How Is It Possible?

By examining the physical and behavioural changes experienced by the elderly, along with their oral problems, carers and dentists can spot signs of dementia. Experts are looking at different key factors that could lead to early detection of mental problems and the provision for better care plans.

Declining Overall Health and Inability to Maintain Oral Health

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, many people with dementia are having difficulty looking after their oral health because of their declining health. They may have trouble communicating dental problems with their carers as well. Dentists may detect and resolve these issues before they lead to more serious and complicated conditions.

The Role of Dentists

People with dementia should receive proper dental care to improve not just their oral health, but also their nutrition and wellbeing. Dentists like Dr David Madruga Gonzalez accept the challenge and responsibility to promote the welfare and quality of life of the patients. By monitoring changes or deterioration in their oral health, dental professionals can diagnose dementia faster and refer patients to GPs for further assessments of their needs and condition.

Significance of the Findings

In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) found the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brain samples collected from deceased dementia patients. This type of bacterium is common in people with periodontal or gum disease.

The discovery of the link between dementia and poor oral health, along with other relevant findings, provides medical and dental professionals ideas on how to better promote awareness of dementia and develop effective care plans for patients.

Families are encouraged to take their loved ones, particularly the seniors, to the dentist regularly to monitor their oral health and recognise symptoms of dementia as early as possible.