How Is Gum Disease Linked to Alzheimer’s?

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Is Gum Disease Linked to Alzheimers Arlington VA

One of the most common oral illnesses for seniors is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, which is an inflammation and infection in the gums that can result in tooth loss and other severe issues. Gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease might not seem like they would be related, but the two health conditions influence each other. Here’s what you need to know about Alzheimer’s and periodontal disease. 

Gum Disease Can Worsen Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Irritability and personality changes are two of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and they can be made even worse when a senior is living with chronic pain. Check your loved one’s gums to see if they look red, shiny, or swollen, and check if any teeth are loose. These are all painful aspects of gum disease that can make a senior with Alzheimer’s disease misbehave, lash out, or act in other negative ways. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Arlington Assisting Hands Home Care provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our caregivers help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.

Alzheimer’s Progression Can Be Hastened by Gum Disease

A 2016 study from the University of Southampton found that seniors with Alzheimer’s who have gum disease also have a sixfold increase in cognitive decline rate. The research implies that people who have gum disease seem to progress more rapidly from mild Alzheimer’s disease to severe memory loss and cognitive decline. This seems to occur because gum disease causes a generalized inflammatory response throughout the body. Higher inflammation levels cause more stress and high blood pressure, which can further harm the brain. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help.

Gum Disease Raises Fatality Risks

One of the most concerning links between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease is the fact that gum disease has the potential to be deadly. The second most frequent cause of death in seniors with Alzheimer’s is infection because the body has difficulty fighting off invading bacteria. Gum disease is particularly likely to spread to the rest of the body. When bacteria flourishes along the gums, it can easily enter the bloodstream and go to other areas in the body. 

Alzheimer’s Disease May Increase the Likelihood of Gum Disease

Gum disease is an entirely preventable health condition. However, the rigorous oral hygiene needed for preventing gum disease can be challenging for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. To make sure Alzheimer’s disease isn’t hastened by gum disease, help your loved one remember to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure your loved one brushes for at least two minutes and thoroughly cleans the gum line. It’s also helpful to get regular dental checkups for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care Arlington, VA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at (703) 997-4334.