Losing a tooth is something you don't want to happen to you unless you are a child. The replacement of baby teeth with permanent teeth in children is a reason for joy, but in adults, the loss of a tooth is usually a signal of a problem. The most common causes of tooth loss are associated with inflammation of the gums, which cause the weakening of permanent teeth and their easy separation from the jaw. Usually, the problems and causes of permanent tooth loss are more serious than you think.
But there is another reason to worry when you lose a tooth or even more than one. And that's the connection between gum disease and dementia, according to bestlife.com. A study cited by the publication shows the link between antibodies formed to fight oral infections and the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The oral bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis are one of the most common causes of gingivitis and periodontitis. The antibodies that the body forms against these bacteria in its fight against them are associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life.
Inflammatory gum disease or periodontal disease usually starts with gingivitis This inflammation is characterized by red, swollen, painful and bleeding gums. If the necessary measures are not taken, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, in which the gums begin to recede. Over time, tooth loss and bone loss in the gums can occur.
Periodontal disease affects millions of people worldwide, and the risk of it increases with age and with certain harmful habits, such as smoking, consumption of sugars, acidic foods, poor hygiene and irregular visits to the dentist.
What is the connection between tooth loss and dementia?
A 2021 meta-analysis of data published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, cited by he althdigest.com, examined the results of 14 studies involving 34,000 participants. Analysis of the data found a link between tooth loss and dementia, with the severity of neurodegenerative damage greater if more than one tooth was lost. The risk of dementia in adults with missing teeth is 28% higher. The risk of cognitive impairment is 48% higher in such a situation.
Researchers have found that the more teeth are lost, the more the risk of dementia increases, according to bestlife.com. Scientists believe that the more timely the treatment of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, the more the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or one of the other forms of dementia is reduced. This is because the brain and nervous system are exposed to chronic inflammation for a shorter period, giving favorable chances to reduce the harmful effects of disease-causing microorganisms.
Not only visible gum disease can cause deterioration of overall he alth and increase the risk of early dementia. Hidden inflammatory focal processes are also dangerous and can be a prerequisite for the development of he alth problems. Among them are granulomas. They are chronic inflammations that the body has managed to localize and encapsulate, keeping them under relatively stable control. Symptoms are rarely felt, which is why this type of chronic infection remains hidden for a long time.