Dental Disease & Alzheimer’s in Wexford, PA
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and the sixth leading cause of death among adults (fifth among those aged over 65). It is associated with symptoms such as amnesia and psycho-behavioral disturbances that cause Alzheimer’s patients to have more trouble keeping up with their oral health. In the general American population, studies show that periodontal disease affects a vast majority of adults aged 30 to 90 years, often resulting in irreversible bone loss, or “clinical attachment loss.”
Although more research is needed on the correlation between the two inflammatory systemic diseases, present studies have identified several gram-negative bacteria that cause the aggressive nature of periodontal disease, namely P. gingivalis, T. denticola, and T. forsythia. These bacteria, if present in your mouth, tend to migrate to the brain, where they create a plaque-like substance responsible for neurodegeneration.
Periodontal Health for Alzheimer’s Patients
As your preferred dental professional in Wexford, PA, we believe that we interact with Alzheimer’s patients more than most other physicians, and that it’s our responsibility to educate our patients on risk factors associated with gum disease.
During your routine dental visit, Dr. Leslie Pasco will perform thorough examination of your mouth to check for signs of gum disease that may include:
- Inflammation of the gums – swelling
- Gums turn red and tend to bleed easily
- Gums pulling away from the teeth – receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Teeth become loose
- Painful chewing
- Persistent bad breath
When gums start to pull away from the teeth in advanced gum disease, the spaces or pockets created fill with bacteria and become infected. The bacterial toxins, combined with your body’s natural response to infection, begin to breakdown the underlying bone and connective tissue supporting teeth in place. If the condition is not treated, the gums, bones, and tissues that hold your teeth are destroyed, causing the teeth to become sensitive, loose, and cause pain. Eventually, they may need to be removed.
Treating gum disease
To prevent the adverse effects of periodontal disease for Alzheimer’s patients, Dr. Pasco emphasizes patient education to control the infection. While treatments like deep cleaning, medications, and flap surgery may be necessary, depending on the stage of gum disease, the primary objective of treatment is gaining control of the infection through proper daily oral care at home and lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking, in order to improve the outcome of your treatment.
Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Pasco in Wexford, PA to discuss more about how to maintain healthy gums when dealing with Alzheimer’s.
Meet Dr. Pasco
125 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 510
Wexford, PA 15090
Phone: (724) 719 2866
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