Good Oral Hygiene May Prevent Dementia & Alzheimers

Good Oral Hygiene May Prevent Dementia & Alzheimers

Did you know that good oral hygiene can help keep your mind healthy and lower your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? According to new research, gum disease increases your chances of developing dementia by at least 70%. These findings are based on research using a sample size of 28,000 people. The study indicated that people who brushed their teeth regularly were less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (or periodontal disease), is a condition that occurs when plaque triggers inflammation and infection of the gum line. If untreated, the disease may progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. Your teeth may become loose which can, unfortunately, lead to tooth extraction.

In severe cases, gum disease may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Researchers believe that untreated gum disease could eventually cause damage to one’s brain. Before this discovery, gum disease had already been linked to other health conditions like early cancer and heart disease.  

How does gum disease cause dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

The bacterium that causes gum disease can easily enter the bloodstream through normal activities such as eating, brushing or even chewing. The bacteria may also enter the bloodstream through invasive dental treatment. As soon as the bacterium is in the blood flow, it makes its way to other parts of the body including the brain. Once it reaches the brain, it triggers an immune reaction that leads to the excessive production of chemicals that tend to kill the brain cells. When this happens, the patient may experience various symptoms such as memory loss and confusion. These are typical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research studies on the relationship between oral hygiene and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

According to research conducted by a group of students led by Dr St John Crean and Simon from The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) School of Medicine and Dentistry in England, gum disease increases the chances of developing dementia. The researchers examined brain tissue samples from ten participants with dementia and ten without the disease.

They identified that four of their patients with dementia had gum disease bacteria (lipopolysaccharides) in their brain tissue and none of the patients from the other group (without dementia) were found with the bacteria.

The relationship between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease is still underway. Taking into account that the above-mentioned research was conducted on a small size of 20 people, the results could as well have occurred by chance. According to Dr Sim K Singhrao, the Senior Research Person at UCLan, scientists are still undertaking further research to determine whether poor oral hygiene can lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in healthy people. They are determining whether the repeated exposure of the brain to the gum bacteria can kill nerve cells and ultimately lead to memory loss.

While the sample size was indeed small, a recently released and more in-depth Taiwanese study also corroborates this view of a significant relationship between dementia and gum disease.

Researchers from the Chung Shan Medical University undertook a study on 9,300 patients who had been diagnosed with chronic periodontitis (Chronic periodontitis is a common gum disease). These patients were compared to another group of 18,700 participants who were not diagnosed with the gum disease. The research took ten years whereby 115 of the patients diagnosed with gum disease developed Alzheimer’s disease same as 208 people from the other group without gum disease.

The students of Chung Shan Medical University led by Chang-Kai Chen stated that the study supported the claim that long-term gum disease may cause neurodegenerative changes that slowly but progressively result in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. These results were published in the journal “Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy”, indicating that people diagnosed with a long term gum disease had a 70 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease during their lifetime.

If it is proven that poor oral hygiene can cause either of these two conditions, then good dental hygiene would offer a straightforward way to help prevent the progression of dementia. It is important for people to ensure that they maintain their oral health by brushing their teeth regularly and visit dental hygiene professionals frequently.

Gum Disease Treatment At Savina Dental Clinics

Gum treatment requires treating of active gum and jaw bone disease. The primary goal of gum disease treatment is to slow or better still, stop the disease from getting worse. There are different stages of gum disease ranging from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, which requires different methods of treatment.

At Savina, we use a three-pronged approach to treating gum disease before resorting to surgery:

Ultrasonic root planing and curettage

To fight gum disease, we use an ultrasonic scaler (a wand like instrument that emits a soft ultrasonic vibration through a small scaling tip) which reduces tartar, plaque and bacteria found in the pockets of your mouth. This tool is used in conjunction with water to remove the dangerous calculus (hardened plaque) around the gum lines.

We use curettage to aid in the removal of chronically inflamed tissue, bacterial affected areas and displaced calculus. This quickens the healing process of the affected gum area.

Laser disinfection and biostimulation

Laser disinfection is a high tech way to treat mild gum disease including gingivitis or previously treated areas which have become infected again. It also helps fight bad breath (technically called halitosis). The main benefits of laser disinfection are less recovery time, swelling and pain which is associated with more traditional forms of gum disease treatment.

Laser biostimulation is performed after laser treatment to enable the treated area to heal faster and with less pain by reducing inflammation. It is an area of treatment that is becoming more and more popular in all areas of the medical profession.

Periodontal ligament and bone regeneration procedures

The last two decades have seen an explosion of knowledge and new techniques to regenerate periodontal tissues. The periodontal ligament is a thin, fibrous ligament that connects the tooth root to the bony socket.

The periodontal ligament is an ultra fine fibrous ligament that is used to connect a tooth root with its bony socket. The last 20 years have seen unprecedented advancements in dental technologies and techniques to regenerate gum tissue. Before then, it was impossible to halt gum tissue growth on newly cleaned roots before there was time for the periodontal ligament to grow and reattach itself to the surface of the root.

This seemingly perennial problem was solved by the use of “barrier membranes” which can be described in everyday terms as band aids placed under the gum. Not only do they stop the growth of the tissue cells to allow the ligaments to regenerate, but they also dissolve in a timely fashion once regeneration has completed allowing the tissue growth to begin again on the now healthy periodontal pocket.

Book Your Appointment Today

Book Appointment At Savina Dental Clinics

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

If you would like to book a consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

You can also read more about all the preventative or restorative dentistry treatments at Savina Dental Clinic or check out our customer testimonials section.

Dr Joseph Xuereb
Dental & Implant Surgeon. Principal
Savina Dental Clinics

Joseph Xuereb
Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.
  • "I just wanted to thank you for the dental treatment I received at your clinic on the afternoon of…" (Graham Consterdine)
    "Absolutely delighted with the results and the price was less than originally quoted.Friendly and…" (George Chapman)
    "Prior to the commencement 3 years ago I had visited dentists less than 10 times in the previous 60…" (Kenneth Page)
    "Was carried out over a number of visits from UK as clinical need arose. Absolutely no pain. Mr…" (Jennifer Page)
    "Save and sound back in the UK after my treatment at your clinic. Just a brief note of thanks…" (Joan Gabbitus)
    "Teeth feel as my own. Evening meals a delight. Grazzi hafna. Dave Dyke." (David Dyke)
    "Dear Joseph, I am still smiling and my family are very impressed. Things are progressing much as…" (Margaret Peacock)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, Just wanted to thank you for my lovely new teeth. Wonderful to be able to eat…" (Hugh Burns)
    ""i would like to say how scared i was of dentists until savina clinic my teeth were in very bad…" (Val Dick)
    ""Dr Xuereb, or Joseph as he likes to be called offered me excellent treatment and customer service…" (J Pulling)
    ""My partner and I had very succesful dental treatments in May 2009, having found Savina Clinic on…" (Michael Cleere)
    "I was extremely happy and satisfied with my treatment. The staff were extremely friendly, the…" (Francesca Smyth)
    "I am very happy with my experience in Malta. The staff is very friendly and would recommend the…" (Jim O'Mahony)
    "I have been using dentists for over 50 years, and Dr. Xuereb is one of the best that I have ever…" (Thomas P Leckinger)
    "I am very pleased with the Zoom Bleaching. My teeth went from between shade 6/7 to shade 2 in less…" (Andrea Fichera)
    "I am very pleased with Savina clinic and the prices they gave me on email are respected. The staff…" (Caroline Demay)
    "Hi Marlene, Everything is fine with me, I am very happy with the treatment I received and…" (Eileen Lee)
    "Hi Marlene, Hope you are all keeping well. My 2 ceramic veneers are great and I am very happy…" (Tara Cronogue)
    "First of all I please allow me to thank you and all your staff for giving me the courage and…" (Patrick Fenech)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, We arrived home yesterday from Zurich and all is well here. Spring is in vibrant…" (Elaine Fothergill)
    "Dear Dr. Xuereb Thank you so much for your reply of 22 August. Again, many thanks for your several…" (Clotilde Mifsud)
    "Dr. Xuereb I continue to walk around grinning like a Cheshire cat - thank you very…" (Gerry Slater)
    "Hi Marlene, well back to rainy Ireland, I've had no problems with my crowns and fillings and…" (Nicola Moore)
    "We just thought we would send you a quick e-mail to say thank you very much for all the hard work…" (Caroline Wall)
    "Hi Joseph, Thank you so much for everything, can you please thank everyone at your practice…" (Emma Pisano)
    "Dear Joseph Many thanks for your note and your good wishes. The gum/tooth has improved…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Hello, Thanks for the below email. I would like to take this opportunity to say how pleased I…" (Alan Pratt)
    "Dear Joseph Having safely return to Ulster I wanted to express my thanks for the care and…" (Steven McBride)
    "Hi Jo Thanks for your e-mail around christmas time. We all had a great time all the families…" (Manya Bartick)
    "Hi dear Joe, I do hope you and Elsie had a really good trip to UK and Rome and that, in spite of…" (Liz Genton Eames)
    "Hi Dr., Back in Ireland and in work. Thank you for the work you have done for me so far. I…" (Teresa Igoe)
    "Thank you for you e-mail, we have just returned from Cyprus, had a fine time. The bridge and teeth…" (Alan McHale)
    "Dear Joseph, I am extremely well, and as before I am very,very happy with the work that you,…" (Donny Nisbet)
    "Hi Dr. Xuereb, Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. You always explained…" (Eleanor O'Byrne)
    "Dear Joe, Thank you for seeing David so promptly, and providing such wonderful treatment. Things…" (David Grainger)
    "Hello Joe Do you remember Caroline who came for 3 implants at the beginning of September this…" (Caroline Holden)
    "I had an emergency broken tooth and found Savina on I was somewhat nervous as I…" (Ken Gord)
    " Carol Mellor Facebook Xlendi Bay, Gozo - Appointment with my dentist…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Thank you once again Dr Xuereb for great fit of my teeth and it is wonderful to see a surgeon with…" (Maria Bonello)
    "Dear Marlene, I really appreciate your concern, thank you. I also found your missed calls - you…" (Josette Galea)
    "Dear Marlene I hope you are well. Thanks for your email and the x-ray attachments. I had a…" (Annette Moore)
    "Hi Dear Marlene and all, May I take this opportunity to give you my heartfelt thanks to all of…" (Tony Cassar)
    "very happy........with my new teeth!  Thanks Joseph and crew. Julie" (Julie Edwards)
    "Dear Joseph, It will come as little surprise to you that I am blown away by the completion of…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Hi Marlene, Had final adjustments to the bite today, only tried a xxxx peppermint.  Eating this…" (David Dyke)
    "Hi. I just wanted to thank you again for the treatment. I was particularly impressed that you…" (Chris Moffit)
    "Joseph, I just thought I'd drop you a quick email to say how pleased I am with the implants and…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know that the implant itself…" (R. Fava)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, sorry for the delay in writing to thank you and everyone concerned re my recent…" (P.Jones)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb I would like to say thank you for your perseverance, patience and…" (E. Brown)
    "Thank you your practice is the best I've ever been to and the staff are brilliant as I'm so scared…" (S.Humphrey)
    "Good morning Joe and team.  Can't tell you how pleased I am with my new look which, I may add,…" (Jenni C.)
    "Dear Dr's Xuereb & Farrugia Having completed my implants in March/ July 2014, which have…" (Richings Mr/Mrs)
    "Dr. X and Marlene - We hope that you are well and wish everyone in the offices a Happy New…" (Michael Campbell)
    "To Dr Xuereb and Staff., Thank u Kindly for the Positive Support U gave me During My Treatment…" (Maria B)
    "Hello, I would like to thank you all for the perfect care I have received at your clinic and…" (Andrea K H)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb  Everything is absolutely fine and I am truly delighted with the result. Thank…" (Pamela C)
    "Hello Doctor Xuereb. Now we are back at home and we like to take the opportunity to say thank…" (A Kaun)
    "To: Dr. Joseph Xuereb  Good morning from Mellieha!  I have been meaning to write to you to…" (J.Saliba)
    "Hello Marlene, I should like to say how delighted I am with Dr Joseph Xuereb's treatment. It has…" (A.Mann)
    " My new implants are great!  No complaints.  My teeth feel natural and my eating time has…" (T.Murphy)
    "Hi Marlene, Firstly I really enjoyed Malta, especially the boat trip to Gozo.  The Maltese are…" (David E.)
    "Joseph, sincere and very many thanks for all your work today. Very professional reassuring and top…" (John S-S)
    "Friendly and professional service. I like the way I was treated as an intelligent and thinking…" (Josanne D.B.)
    "Just came out from Savina Clinic and was treated very good I recommend this clinic to the fullest.…" (Kylie F.)
    "Love how they explain every single process! Everything new & with latest technology" (Miguel G.)
    "Highly recommend!" (Alexandra M.B.)
    "Absolutely awesome service; They answered my emails, gave me neutral information what options I…" (Tatu O)
    "Good afternoon Dr.J.Xuereb  A VERY BIG THANK YOU for a wonderful competent treatment and for a…" (Terese S.)
    "Dear Joseph. Sincere thanks for your kind e mail. Hope you had a great break away ! It was my…" (John S.S.)
    ""Dear Joseph, Wonderful,  tried out on fresh roasted chicken...  Very pleased, as always…" (Dave D)