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How Healthy Your Teeth and Gums Are Matters For Brain Health

8 months, 2 weeks ago

5512  0
Posted on Oct 04, 2023, 1 p.m.

Article courtesy of Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the world's top cardiologists, a best-selling author, lecturer, and a leading expert in plant-based nutrition and holistic care.

The scientific support for the connection between GI health and systemic health of the heart and brain is growing rapidly. The GI tract begins in the mouth and oral health as a factor in overall health is well supported. More data is needed.

Although tooth loss and periodontitis have been considered risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. A new study aimed to clarify an association between the number of teeth present (NTP) and hippocampal (region of the brain) atrophy dependent on the severity of periodontitis in a late middle-aged and older adult population.


This study included community-dwelling individuals aged ≥55 years who had no cognitive decline and had undergone brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and oral and systemic data collection twice at 4-year intervals. Hippocampal brain volumes were obtained from MRIs by automated region-of-interest analysis.

The mean periodontal probing depth (mean PD) was used as a measure of periodontitis. Multiple regression analysis was performed with the annual symmetric percentage change (SPC) of the hippocampal volume as the dependent variable and including an interaction term between NTP and mean PD as the independent variable.


The data of 172 participants were analyzed. The qualitative interaction between NTP and mean PD was significant for the annual SPC in the left hippocampus.

The regression coefficient of the NTP on annual SPC in the left hippocampus region of the brain was negative at the high-level PD.


In a late middle-aged and older cohort, fewer teeth were associated with a faster rate of left hippocampal atrophy in patients with mild periodontitis, whereas having more teeth was associated with a faster rate of atrophy in those with severe periodontitis.

The importance of keeping teeth and gums healthy is imperative for optimal brain aging. Similar data for the importance of healthy teeth and gums for cardiovascular and sexual health has also been reported recently.

A lot of individuals are off track with routine dental cleanings since the pandemic and resuming regular cleanings and daily hygiene habits is recommended.

About the author: At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant-based vegan diet that Dr. Kahn truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics, and nutrition-based recovery protocols.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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