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Bad gums can be related to dementia

The gum disease-dementia connection

Jan. 2, 2024
Who knew dental hygienists are also brain health hygienists? We did! The Queen of Dental Hygiene, Barbara Tritz, explains how caring for the gums can reduce the risk of dementia.

There are several bad bacteria as well as viruses that cause dental problems and have been directly connected to creating inflammation in the brain and contributing to dementia. The research is showing that oral pathogens cross the blood-brain barrier. And, no surprise to those in the dental field—they create the same inflammation and plaque biofilm they do in the mouth, with the same results.

Gum disease increases the risk for dementia. And if they've been infected for over 10 years, your chance of having Alzheimer’s dementia increases by 70%. That should motivate most people to want to see their "brain health" dental hygienist.

Read my blog post, Brains and bugs

More topics from my blog

The importance of the tongue in facial development

The dental dangers of sippy cups, pacifiers, and thumb-sucking

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH, is a biological dental hygienist and orofacial myofunctional therapist whose blog, Queen of Dental Hygiene, provides patients the information they need to help them on their healing journey. “Our one-hour appointment time was just not long enough to share all the many important facts I wanted our patients to learn. Dental hygiene is about so much more than just teaching brushing and flossing," says Barbara. “We are healers, educators, and lifesavers, and we need to give our patients the tools and skills to empower them to true wellness and health.”

About the Author

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH, is a practicing biological dental hygienist at Green City Dental in Edmonds, Washington. She is the owner of Washington Oral Wellness in Kirkland, Washington, where she practices orofacial myofunctional therapy. She completed her accreditation in biological dental hygiene through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and is laser certified through the Academy of Laser Dentistry. In 2019 Barbara received the HuFriedy-American Dental Hygienist Association Master Clinician Award. Barbara can be contacted at [email protected].