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Have you ever thought about your bad breath? Can rotting teeth or weak gums damage your health? Bad oral health may lead to life-threatening diseases. And interestingly, studies confirm that your genes play a big part in your oral health.

Bad Oral Health Can Kill You

Most of us do not know just how important good teeth and gums are when it comes to our well-being. It may surprise you to read that bad oral health can be life-threatening. Oral infection may cause inflammation associated with heart disease. Those with poor dental health typically have poor nutrition. There are many other consequences of bad oral health. These include the heart and brain, as well as your overall well-being.

Your oral health has a direct connection to your brain health

Adults who are genetically prone to poor oral health are more likely to show signs of declining brain health than those with good oral health.

According to the American Heart Association, early treatment of poor oral health may lead to significant brain health benefits, therefore your brain benefits from good oral health.

You will benefit from reading this article and taking better care of your teeth and gums. Here’s why!

Research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in 2023. Researchers and clinicians met for this well-known meeting dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

Research confirms the need to pay close attention to oral health

Studies have shown that having bad oral health will increase your risk of having a stroke.

According to the American Stroke Association. A stroke is the 5th cause of death and disability in the United States. During research, a link was found between poor oral health and the cause of heart disease and high blood pressure.

“What hasn’t been clear is whether poor oral health affected brain health, meaning the functional status of a person’s brain, which we are now able to understand better using tools such as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI,” said study author Cyprien Rivier, M.D., M.S. Rivier is a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

“Studying oral health is especially important because poor oral health happens frequently and is easily a risk factor – everyone can effectively improve their oral health with minimal time and financial investment.”

oral health| Longevity Live

Three in five people in the US will develop brain disease in their lifetime

Just as healthy lifestyle choices impact the risk of heart disease and stroke, they also impact brain health.

Three in five people in the U.S. will develop brain disease in their lifetime, according to the latest estimates from the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

Between 2014 and 2021, researchers in this study studied the potential link between oral health and brain health. Among 40,000 adults (46% men, average age 57 years) without a history of stroke enrolled in the U.K.

You don’t want to lose your teeth as you get older, here’s why…

Biobank participants were screened for 105 genetic variants known to cause a person to have cavities, dentures, and missing teeth later in life. The relationship between the burden of these genetic risk factors for poor teeth and gums and brain health was elevated.

Signs of poor brain health were screened via MRI images of the participants’ brains, defined as more damage in the brain’s white matter, which may impair memory, balance and mobility; and micro-structural damage, which is the degree to which the fine architecture of the brain has changed in comparison to images for a normal brain scan of a healthy adult of a similar age.

Are you at risk?

People who were genetically prone to cavities, missing teeth, or needing dentures had a higher burden of silent brain microbleeds, as represented by a 24% increase in the amount of white matter visible on the MRI images.

Those with overall genetically poor oral health had increased damage to the brain, as represented by a 43% change in microstructural damage scores visible on the MRI scans. Microstructural damage scores are whole-brain summaries of the damage sustained by the fine area of each brain region.

“Poor oral health may cause declines in brain health, so we need to be extra careful with our oral hygiene because it has results far beyond the mouth,” Rivier said. “However, this study is somewhat of a test, and more evidence needs to be gathered – ideally through clinical trials – to confirm that improving oral health in the population will lead to brain health benefits.”

The analysis was limited to the fact that the UK Biobank includes only people who are based in the U.K. They are mainly of European ancestry (94% of the U.K. Biobank participants reported their race as white vs. 6% reported as mixed, Black British, Asian British, or other). In addition, more research among people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds is needed.

In conclusion

American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. Stroke Council member and volunteer expert Joseph P said that while the study results don’t demonstrate that dental hygiene improves brain health, the findings are “intriguing” and should prompt more research.



Tamlyn Bingle

With an ever growing interest and appetite for sustainability, Tamlyn Bingle is an ambitious writer, her objective is to always share knowledgeable and insightful information in the written space. Tamlyn also enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle, appreciative of nature and all creatures great and small.


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