Health Blog

Dental Care Protects More Than Teeth

Posted in Health Articles by Pulse Health Screening on May 24, 2010
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Recent research is indicating that dementia, heart disease and diabetes can be prevented by good oral care. Although pretty well everyone brushes their teeth two times or more a day, researchers are saying that even more attention on oral care would be advisable.

From the Eastman Dental Institute, professor of restorative dentistry, Ian Needleman said, “People think of the mouth as some kind of compartment that’s independent from the rest of the body,” adding “But that doesn’t really make a lot of sense.”

Last month the results of a study conducted at the University of Kentucky that had been going on for 3 years were released. The scientists had the volunteers aged between 75 and 90 to do a simple memory test, involving remembering 10 words that they were told 5 minutes earlier. The people were from similar educational levels and over three years the variation in the results tallied with the extent of tooth loss. Those with less teeth scored lower marks in the first test and their results also declined over the three year study too.

The British Dental Health Foundation, head, Dr Nigel Carter described the University of Kentucky results as “breakthrough scientific research”, and that they “add to a growing list of evidence of the wide-ranging systemic links relating to poor oral health.”

The question that is often asked is how unhealthy teeth or gums affect the health of the rest of the body? Needleman said the answer is “bacteria.” He elaborated, saying, “The problem is dental plaque, the soft, white, sticky deposits that can build up around your teeth.”

Offering an example of how dental condition influences health, Needleman said, “The mouth can increase inflammation throughout the body. It can trigger the release of a large number of chemicals known as mediators, which are the same causes of the inflammation implicated in heart disease.”

Source: Healthy Pages 19/5/10

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