Every day, researchers are finding ways in which your oral health relates to your overall health. A recent study out of the University of Bergen in Norway has connected gingivitis bacteria to Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers found that the bacteria that causes gingivitis can progress to the brain. That bacteria creates an enzyme that can destroy nerve cells in the brain. Initially, the bacteria can cause relatively benign memory loss, but left untreated can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Shockingly, researchers involved in the study found that, of 53 study participants with Alzheimer’s, 96 percent had the enzyme that originated from mouth bacteria.

senior couple standing in front of bathroom mirror brushing teeth to help reduce Alzheimers

What You Can Do To Lower Your Risk

Alzheimer’s disease is incurable but, luckily, we can postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s and reduce our risk of developing the disease.

You can reduce plaque buildup and reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Additionally, by scheduling regular check-ups every six months, holistic dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian can ensure your dental health is where it should be. Prevention is always better than intervention, and Dr. Nehawandian can employ preventive dentistry practices if anything looks concerning during your check-up.

If you have a history of Alzheimer’s in your family, or if you have had oral health problems in the past, Dr. Nehawandian may recommend you schedule more visits throughout the year to ensure your dental health is in peak condition.

Signs of Gingivitis

There are a few things to look out for and keep in mind if you feel you may be at risk for gingivitis. Only Dr. Nehawandian will be able to diagnose gingivitis, but if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms and are concerned about your dental health, schedule an appointment today.

  • Bright red or purpleish gums
  • Painful or tender gums, especially to the touch
  • Excessive bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Receding gum line
  • Soft gums

Treating Gingivitis

If Dr. Nehawandian determines that your teeth and gums need a deeper clean than a typical check-up offers due to gingivitis, it is no cause for concern. If caught early enough, gingivitis is both treatable and reversible, and you can go back to your regular at-home dental care with Dr. Nehawandian’s guidance.

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Dr. Nehawandian will first measure the pockets between your teeth and gums to determine how far along your gingivitis is, disinfect and clean the mouth thoroughly, then scale the teeth and gums. Scaling is a deep clean that removes tartar and plaque from the pockets. Then, Dr. Nehawandian will smooth the gum line back to where it should be. In cases that are further along, or in cases that have reached periodontal disease status, Dr. Nehawandian will use a diode laser to kill bacteria and remove diseased tissue from the gums.

Get the Treatment You Need

If you have concerns about your tooth and gum health, or if it’s been awhile since your last routine dental check-up, Dr. Nehawandian has the answers you need.

To schedule an appointment with holistic dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos today, or to discuss your concerns about periodontal disease or gingivitis, please call (408) 354-5600 today.