In the last decade, mountains of research have been conducted on the brain and the way a person’s memory changes over time. But before you reach for the Ginkgo Biloba, you may want to consider reaching for the toothbrush instead. Researchers at West Virginia University are studying the effects of gum health on a person’s memory, and many experts predict that brushing and flossing may reduce the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Studies have already shown that gum disease increases a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, perhaps due to the inflammatory response caused by periodontitis or microorganisms in the mouth.
Now, researchers suspect that mental health can also be affected by a person’s gums. According to the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, connections have already been found between severe dementia and gum disease. To keep your gums healthy, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily, as well as use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Most importantly, schedule regular visits with a dentist on your dental plan and ask questions. Staying informed is the first step to staying healthy.