Poor dental health linked to cognitive decline and increased dementia risk, claims study

Having poor dental health may be more damaging to your health than many would realise.

A number of studies have found how gum disease increases a person’s risk for heart problems including heart disease. Now, new research has also linked it to an increased risk for dementia.

Even more worrying is the difficulty many Brits are facing when it comes to dentist appointments. People across the country are unable to get NHS treatment with many having to resort to private care.

Those who are unable to get private care will see their dental health suffer with other dangerous health consequences.

Poor dental health linked to dementia

A new study has found the strong link between poor dental health, including tooth loss, and dementia.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, further analysed 47 studies to come to this conclusion.

It found that poor periodontal health, including periodontitis, tooth loss, deep periodontal pockets or bone loss, was associated with a 23% increased risk of cognitive decline, including a 21% increased risk for dementia.

It also found that tooth loss alone was linked to 23% higher odds of cognitive decline and a 13% higher risk of dementia.

“From a clinical perspective, our findings emphasise the importance of monitoring and management of periodontal health in the context of dementia prevention, although available evidence is not yet sufficient to point out clear ways for early identification of at-risk individuals, and the most efficient measures to prevent cognitive deterioration,” wrote the authors of the study.

Poor dental health linked to heart disease

“Gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease,” says the Mayo Clinic.

The health site added: “Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the heart valves.

“Oral health may be particularly important if you have artificial heart valves.”

Other health conditions
In another study with the University of Birmingham, gum disease and it’s to other health conditions was investigated.

The research found that a 37% increase in mental health problems, 33% increased risk of developing autoimmune disorders and 18% risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The risks of metabolic disorders varied, with a rate of seven percent that spiked to 26% when looking only at type 2 diabetes.