Periodontitis May Increase Risk of Developing Dementia
Gum disease (gingivitis) that goes untreated can become periodontitis. When this happens, the infection that affected your gums causes loss in the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Forbes (3/17) contributor Robert Glatter, MD, states that “researchers in South Korea studied the relationship between chronic periodontitis and dementia over a 10 year period,” finding those with “chronic periodontitis had a 6% higher risk for dementia compared to those without periodontitis,” even “after controlling for behaviors suck as smoking, consuming alcohol, and degree of physical exercise.” Dr. Glatter says that although “the mechanism underlying this finding is unclear,” and “it also may be a case of ‘chicken vs egg’” the research is important because it represents the first study to demonstrate that chronic periodontitis could be linked to a higher risk for dementia, even after taking lifestyle behaviors into account.” The findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.