Research has long found links between gum disease and strokes, diabetes, bacterial lung infections, heart disease and problems with pregnancy but there is now a risk that gum disease and dementia could be connected.
Our Bexleyheath dentist Forouzan Pessian advises that gum disease is the single biggest cause of tooth loss – but we have so much more to lose than our teeth if we don’t put the health of our gums as our top priority.
The fact that our dental wellbeing is so closely linked to our overall health means that regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are absolutely vital. We recommend that our patients from Bexleyheath, Welling, Bexley and the surrounding areas come to Danson Park Dental Practice, a private dentist in Kent, every 12 months as an absolute minimum.
Dentists and dental hygienists are well placed to spot the early signs of dementia and this is another reason why we encourage our patients to visit us regularly.
The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that there are currently more than 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and this will be over one million by 2025. Studies have shown that people with dementia have poorer oral health than those without the disease due to impairment of cognitive skills and a reliance on care providers.
Dental teams such as ours can identify the early signs of dementia through monitoring any deterioration in oral health and we can help people to be diagnosed more quickly by referring them to their GP for further investigation.
George McNamara from the Alzheimer’s Society said: “We recognise how important an oral health care programme is for people with dementia. This programme should be established as early as possible so that people can independently maintain their oral health for as long as possible. Once the condition progresses their carer will need to support them in keeping their teeth healthy.”
He said people with dementia in advanced stages may not be able to communicate that they are experiencing pain in their teeth so dentists are well placed to recognise other signs which may indicate an underlying problem.
We are also able to help people with dementia maintain a good quality of oral health and reduce discomfort.