Does Mouth Health Influence Brain Health?

Does Mouth Health Influence Brain Health?

February 15, 2023

Dental professionals help patients to maintain good oral hygiene for a healthy and attractive smile. However, oral hygiene practices do more than that. They ensure your brain is healthy and functions properly. Read on to learn how the dentist in Scottsdale, AZ, can help your mental health.

Ways How Oral Health Impacts Brain Health

  1. Memory Loss

Research shows a possible relationship between oral health and memory loss. Your mouth has bacteria that help in breaking down food. However, these bacteria accumulate when you do not brush, floss, or attend regular cleanings at the dental office.

They may enter your bloodstream through your gums and travel to the brain. Consequently, they damage or kill some brain cells resulting in memory loss. That is why most people with advanced gum disease have dementia.

Fortunately, you can prevent this by maintaining excellent oral hygiene and treating gum disease. Visit the Scottsdale dentist when you notice these signs of gum disease:

  • Blood from your gums when you brush or floss
  • Persistent terrible breath or taste in the mouth
  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing or cleaning teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that pull away from teeth
  • Change in your bite or fit of partial dentures
  • Sensitive teeth
  1. Brain Infection

Your teeth are directly connected to your brain through nerves in the mouth. An example is a trigeminal nerve which connects the gums, jaw, and teeth to your brain. If you have a severe tooth infection, the bacteria can be transferred to the brain through this nerve. As a result, the bacteria will attack your brain cells, causing an infection.

The neurons in your brain will get destroyed or killed, resulting in a brain abscess and other issues. You may notice certain symptoms if you have a brain infection resulting from teeth infections. They include confusion, vision changes, fever, and trouble remembering. You may also have nausea, vomiting, headache, and reduced mobility.

Fortunately, you can prevent this rare condition by visiting the dentist in Scottsdale, AZ, for regular checkups. The dentist will detect signs of a tooth infection early. Then they will provide treatment to prevent it from spreading. In addition, do not hesitate to consult the dentist if you notice signs of a tooth infection. They include:

  • Persistent throbbing tooth pain that worsens when you lie down
  • Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures
  • tooth sensitivity due to pressure when you eat or touch the tooth
  • Facial, ear, or neck pain on the side of the aching tooth
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling or tenderness on the cheek or neck
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Protect Your Brain Health Through Excellent Oral Health

Taking care of your mouth minimizes the risks of developing issues like memory loss and brain infections. Below are tips for maintaining great oral health and preventing poor brain health.

  1. Practice proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. Use the right toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and ideal floss or interdental brush for optimum hygiene. Consult the dentist on the right way to clean any dental appliances you may have.
  2. Consume sugary or acidic treats in moderation to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Alternatively, you can replace them with healthy fruits and vegetables which are good for teeth.
  3. Rinse your mouth with water, and brush or chew sugar-free gums after meals. This helps reduce food debris and prevents plaque formation. Plaque leads to tooth infections or gum disease.
  4. Tobacco increases the risk of gum disease and tooth infections. So, if you use tobacco products, quit or reduce the frequency of use.
  5. Consult the doctor whenever you perceive changes in your mouth or have pain and discomfort. Changes may indicate a serious issue that can affect your brain health.
  6. Work with the dentist to control conditions that contribute to poor oral health. These include diabetes, dry mouth, eating disorders, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
  7. Visit the dental office at least twice yearly for dental exams and cleanings. The dentist will help you maintain excellent oral hygiene. In addition, they will treat or prevent dental issues that affect your brain health. Schedule an appointment with our dental team at Mercado Dental Care. We will work with you to maintain excellent oral and brain health.
Mercado Dental Care
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