The New York University study provides new evidence that gum inflammation is associated with inflammation in the brain.
The research team, led by Dr. Angela Kamer, assistant professor of periodontology & implant dentistry, studied 20 years of data from Denmark that support the hypothesis of a link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's.
Those with periodontal disease (gum disease) at age 70 were 900% more likely to test in the lower range of brain function tests compared to those with little or no periodontal inflammation (gum disease).
Other health factors that tend to lower test scores, such as obesity, cigarette smoking, and tooth loss unrelated to gum inflammation, were factored in, but the strong association between periodontal disease (gum disease) and cognitive dysfunction held true.
The Importance of Maintaining Healthy Gums
The evidence indicates that if you practice good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing after every meal, you may lower your risk of developing or have a better control of other medical issues now found to be possibly related to periodontal disease (gum disease) such as: such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, pregnancy problems, respiratory disease, cognitive dysfunction and several health issues affected by inflammatory conditions, like IBS and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). New research is also linking chronic periodontal disease (gum disease) to an increase risk for several cancers.