February 15, 2019
We already know that brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist in Belchertown can help you to enjoy better teeth and gums. But recent research says these habits may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. This gives all of us added incentive to safeguard our oral health. The benefits may be greater than anyone previously imagined.
New Thoughts on an Old Enemy
Alzheimer’s is probably as
old as humanity itself. But it took until 1906 to recognize it as a distinct disorder.
Since then, science has been struggling for a way to treat this dread condition,
which afflicts almost six million Americans.
For years, researchers though
that the key to a cure lay in treating the plaques that typically build up in
the brains of Alzheimer’s victims. Recently however, a different theory came to
light. Scientists discovered that the bacteria behind gum disease is present in
more than 90% of Alzheimer’s patients. This is a powerful indicator that those
germs are in fact the true cause of the disease.
If this line of reasoning
proves true, then it may lead to breakthrough advances in Alzheimer’s therapy. Only
time will tell. Meanwhile, here are some things all of us can do to enjoy not
only healthier teeth but a better quality of life overall:
- Follow the “2×2” rule when it comes to brushing: Brush 2-3 times a day for at least two full minutes per
session. One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is rushing through the
task instead of taking the time to do it right.
- Floss or use an interdental toothbrush daily: This is an important supplemental step to brushing. Floss
string comes in both waxed and unwaxed versions as well as a variety of widths.
You can also use a water stream flossing device instead.
- Eat with your teeth and gums in mind: this means more than simply avoiding sugar – as important
as that is.It also means eating plenty
of the right foods, ones which contain key nutrients like protein, healthy
unsaturated fats, complex carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Your body needs
these things in order to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Banish tobacco and vaping products from your life: this includes not only cigarettes but chewing
tobacco, cigars, etc. Not only is nicotine disastrous for your overall health,
it erodes tooth enamel, making cavities more likely. Your dentist can recommend
new medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Get up and get moving: studies show that any form of regular physical
activity does a body good, including gardening or housekeeping. Remember to
check with your healthcare professional before start any exercise program.
We used to think that the
well-being of one part of the body was unrelated to the rest; now we know
better. The time and effort you invest in caring for your teeth and gums can
benefit you in ways you might never have imagined. So give it your best shot,
then remember to congratulate yourself for a job well done.
About the Author
Dr. Mark D. Medaugh comes from
a family of healthcare professionals. Known affectionately to his patients as “Dr.
M,” he is well-versed in multiple aspects of quality dental care, including cosmetic
and restorative techniques. You can
reach his office online
or by calling (413) 323-4335.
Comments Off on Healthy Teeth, Healthy Brain? Insights from a Dentist in Belchertown
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.