The exact factors by which gum disease may be linked to cognitive decline are not fully clear and very likely other factors also play a part in the decline seen in participants’ cognition alongside their oral health.
However, growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
A number of studies have shown that having few teeth, possibly as a consequence of earlier gum disease, is associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. The presence of teeth with active gum disease results in higher body-wide levels of the sorts of inflammatory molecules which have also been associated with an elevated risk of cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease. Research has suggested that effective gum treatment can reduce the occurrence of these molecules closer to levels that are seen in a healthy state. A reduction in the levels of inflammation in the body may aid in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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