Several recent studies have shown a connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bryan Dunlap of Dunlap Dental joined us in studio with more. 

Oral health is linked with overall health
We’ve talked about the relationship between other diseases—heart disease, for example—and the bacteria that cause gum disease. This association with Alzheimer’s is recent, but it’s clear that if you have unhealthy gums it won’t just lead to tooth loss. It’s putting you at risk for serious and sometimes deadly illness.

Alzheimer’s and gum disease: a potent pair
The germs that are present with gum disease have enzymes that are also present in Alzheimer’s disease. They get into the bloodstream and get to the brain. The latest research indicates that people who’ve had gum disease for over a decade are 70 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those whose gums are disease free.

Preventive steps
• Regular dentist visits
• Daily brushing and flossing
• Get immediate treatment if diagnosed with gum disease