Caring for Your Oral Health Could Protect Your Mental Health

Do you have cavities, the sniffles, or vision problems that you’ve been ignoring? Your mental health in the future may depend on a visit to a healthcare professional today. According to a recent study, regular checkups with your dentist, optometrist, and physician, along with an active lifestyle, could decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and similar conditions.

Canadian scientists listed an array of health conditions which could lead to Alzheimer’s when combined. The researchers studied records of over 7,239 elderly people who filled out periodic detailed health questionnaires. It was no surprise that the people who had a history of heart disease and other risk factors for dementia were more likely to develop the condition. But what surprised them was that health issues such as loose dentures, arthritis, vision problems, arthritis, colds, hearing issues, and skin problems could also result in dementia.

Separately, the conditions only increased dementia risk by about 3 percent, but when they occurred together the increase grew quickly. Participants in the study who didn’t have those conditions only had an 18 percent chance for dementia, but those who had 12 of the conditions had a 40 percent chance, even taking into account age and existing risk factors.

While the researchers could not determine how the seemingly unrelated conditions could contribute to the risk of dementia, Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, a geriatric medicine and neurology professor at Dal house University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said people with several health issues might be weaker against brain deterioration when they age.

To protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease, or at least delay its onset, preventive care is and regular exercise are necessary, no matter how old you are. Dr. James Fondriest offers general dental services, like checkups and cleanings, to protect your oral health. Call our Lake Forest, IL, dental practice today at 847-234-0517 for your appointment.

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