A few months ago, Jaime wrote about a new study that suggested that brushing our teeth isn’t only related to oral health and beauty, but also to the health of our heart. Bacteria that linger in our mouth may cause endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that can lead to dead.
Now another study underscores the importance of dental care, saying that people who keep their teeth and gums healthy by regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.
Researchers of the University of California studied 5,500 people between 52 and 105 years old, free of dementia at the outset, over an 18-years-period. They found that those who reported to brush their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 percent more likely to develop dementia than the participants who brushed their teeth daily.
So how is this possible? The researchers argue that gum disease bacteria might get into the brain, causing inflammation and brain damage.
Photo: Mysi / Flickr
Paganini-Hill, A, White, SC, & Atchison, KA (2012). Dentition, Dental Health Habits, and Dementia: The Leisure World Cohort Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04064.x