According to a number of recent studies, while family history still plays the largest role in Alzheimer’s development, there are also certain behaviors that can delay the onset of the disease or decrease the severity. The earlier these behaviors are introduced, the better the outcome may be.
One of the healthy habits you should begin to implement sooner rather than later is caring for your teeth and gums to avoid the development of gum disease. This is not only because of the health of your gums but because gum disease has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. Other healthy lifestyle choices can also help you avoid degenerative brain diseases. These choices include increasing exercising and drinking fruit and vegetable juices.
Around 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s. With the baby boomer generation averaging around the age of 60, the number of Alzheimer’s cases is expected to grow to around 70% by the year 2020.
The research for the study published by the Washington Post was put together from three different and separate studies. The first was a study of the middle-aged children of Alzheimer’s patients and studied healthy lifestyle habits as a way to delay the disease. The second study showed that people who drank fruit and vegetable juice around three times a week were at a lower risk for the disease.
The third study followed around 100 sets of identical twins to find any lifestyle factors that may be associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is the study that found that those who had gum disease and periodontitis earlier in life were up to 4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. The researchers believe that the inflammation caused by gum disease may play a role in the destruction of the brain cells, causing Alzheimer’s.
The best way to avoid gum disease and gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene habits. This means brushing at least twice a day, flossing every day, and making sure to visit Severance Dental every six months for a dental cleaning and checkup. Dr. Josh Kelly can remove tartar and detect any early signs of gum problems.
If you believe you’re suffering from gum disease or have any other concerns about your oral health, please contact Severance Dental here in Severance, Colorado.