Tempe Dentist, AZ 85283, Family, Cosmetic

Oral Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

17 Oct, 2023 general-dentistry

Old woman brushing teeth.

The average person’s mouth is home to more than 700 different kinds of bacteria. Oral hygiene routines are designed to reduce the bacteria in your mouth that can spread through your body.

Current scientific research indicates that the same bacteria that causes gum disease could also be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s.

When the bacteria that causes periodontal disease enters your bloodstream, it can make its way to your brain. Once there, it releases enzymes that disrupt nerve cells. 

As these nerve cells get destroyed, you could develop memory loss that progresses to Alzheimer’s disease.

Oral Infections and Systemic Diseases

Oral infections can also cause bacteria to flood your body that can contribute to other systemic diseases. People with late stage gum disease are also more likely to develop problems with their cardiovascular health.

Heart disease, diabetes and even osteoarthritis can all be linked to inflammation in your mouth. Visiting your dentist regularly helps to keep oral infections at bay. 

Plus, your dentist can sometimes spot signs of systemic conditions in your mouth. For instance, people with diabetes might develop thrush.

Early identification of mouth infections can restore your health. You can also use the insight into your oral health to take care of your other physical needs.

An elderly man about to floss his teeth, showcasing good oral hygiene and self-care.

Simple Tips to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Poor oral health that contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms can also create a vicious cycle. Once someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, it becomes harder to maintain oral health due to memory loss.

One way to improve oral hygiene for people with Alzheimer’s is to include it in a daily routine. Picture charts are also helpful for reminding people with Alzheimer’s of each step to take.

People of all levels of abilities can also play music to make it more enjoyable to brush their teeth for longer. Or, you might want to try using different styles of toothbrushes or floss. 

If maintaining good oral hygiene at home is difficult, then your dentist can also help you out with more frequent cleanings. The ultimate goal is to keep bacteria levels in your mouth low. 

Together, you and your dentist can create an oral hygiene routine that works for keeping your whole body and mind strong.


Having poor oral health doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s disease. But, it can increase your risk of dealing with memory loss as you age. 

Brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly can all help improve your oral health. Considering that you can reduce your Alzheimer’s risk as well as cavities and other problems, it’s worth taking care of your teeth.