Link Between Oral Hygiene and Alzheimer’s Disease

Old Smiling Man

Oral health has drastic impacts across people of all ages – for those who are elderly, oral health matters more than ever to have a longer life. But when diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease come to the surface, not only are social capabilities limited, but one’s ability to care for themselves is also heavily impacted. Those elderly often have difficulties maintaining their oral health due to the degradation of their enamel and loss of bone strength. Alzheimer’s disease hinders oral maintenance and can cause the loss of teeth to occur quicker than expected. However, some studies search for the connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s and found results.

How Alzheimer’s Disease Impacts Oral Health

Often, the factors that arise from Alzheimer’s disease come from understanding how it impacts memory and cognitive function. Studies such as one found within the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health look into the connections between the effects of Alzheimer’s and how it impacts oral health. Observing this disease, they’ve kept that cognitive impairment often leads to memory loss, functional impairment, and inadequate healthcare. This inadvertently causes oral hygiene habits to slip. The combined factors of degenerating bone density with poor dental habits, tooth loss, and periodontal disease occur more frequently among the elderly. These risks also indicate a higher need for dentists to provide more comprehensive services to the elderly, helping aid in their oral health by creating more tailored dental plans and services needed to meet their needs.

The physical and psychological state of those with Alzheimer’s disease presents many emotional turmoils and health risks. For families with this condition, preparing ahead of time with preventative care methods can help reduce oral complications that come with Alzheimer’s disease. Ignoring oral health can have a drastic impact on a person’s health. Someone with this condition can be at higher risk of developing root cavities, orofacial pain, and other serious oral health problems that can lead to overall worse quality of life. To combat these issues, dentists have their own methods for keeping the elderly healthy during checkups.

How Do Dentists Approach Alzheimer’s Disease

Finding the best preventative measures for dentists can make a huge difference for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Family dentists, general dentists specializing in working with elderly patients, and other specialists will often have training in caring for different age groups and often accommodation for many of their patients’ underlying conditions to help them receive dental treatment. Among the many treatments, these measures include:

  • Regular Exams

  • Fluoride Treatments

  • Dental sealants

  • Customized Plans

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Visiting the dentist often can help reduce the negative effects oral health can have for patients with Alzheimer’s and reduce the risk of poor oral health later on in life. With research underway, dentists can best serve the elderly with better information and tools ahead.


Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Torrance Dental Associates is proud to be the home of Dr. Alireza Movassaghi, a USC School of Dentistry Graduate with 30 years of experience. His mission is to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. When not engaged in providing expert dental care for his patients, he's taking in the latest soccer game and enjoying fine cars.
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