Learn about the potential dangers of neglecting your teeth during World Alzheimer's Month
September is World Alzheimer's Month. With new studies suggesting poor dental health may increase your risk for dementia, DentalPlans.com, a leading online marketplace for dental savings plans in the U.S. and part of the Henry Schein One portfolio of solutions, is committed to helping people understand the association between dementia and dental health – as well as making affordable dental care more accessible.
Dementia is a general term for symptoms that include a decline in memory, reasoning and thinking skills. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than six million Americans – most of them age 65 or older according to the Alzheimer’s Association – and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
While dementia may seem common as people grow older, it is not a normal part of aging. And, as the National Institute of Health states, living a healthy lifestyle may reduce your risk of being impacted by dementia. Staying active, choosing healthy foods, challenging your brain by learning new skills, spending time with other people, and getting regular check-ups from your doctors and dentist are important ways to maintain your brain health throughout life.
Regular dental care is critical. A new study conducted by the NYU Dentistry School shows evidence of a connection between too much “bad” bacteria under your gums and Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease seems to be preventing the body from being able to remove dementia-causing proteins (amyloids) from the brain. The researchers found that people who had more of the beneficial types of oral bacteria had lower levels of amyloids. The next step for researchers is performing clinical trials to determine whether dental deep cleanings can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
“This research further demonstrates the association between oral health and overall health that we already know exists. But now, we have even more information to help Americans potentially lower their risk for dementia. The message is simple – take care of your oral health,” said Jenn Stoll, Chief Commercial Officer at DentalPlans.com. “At DentalPlans.com, we are committed to helping Americans be able to afford to do that.”
If you have been delaying getting dental care due to cost, consider a dental savings plan, which is an affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance that can save plan members 10-60% on most dental procedures. Some plans also include discounts on vision, hearing, and chiropractic care, as well as fitness, nutrition and 24/7 telehealth to help manage and maintain ones overall health.
Learn more about dental savings plans and see how much you can save here.