Gum disease may make you lose more than just your teeth. A recent study revealed that people with fewer natural teeth also show signs of memory loss. Dr. Locke can treat your gums to help save your smile—and your memory.

Dementia is a neurological disorder that causes loss of brain function and decreases your mental capabilities and functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects your memory, thinking, and behavior.

Gum disease creates an infection in your gum tissue that eventually leads to tooth loss. Research shows that gum infections may release substances that increase inflammation in your brain. When your brain swells, the irritation blocks the ability to function properly. Brain inflammation kills the neurons that help you think, remember, and focus clearly. Neuron death is also linked to losing sensory receptors around your teeth.

If gum disease isn’t signaling memory loss, it may work the other way around. People with dementia may have trouble remembering to brush and floss every day. Additionally, dementia often develops in older patients, who already have dental complications due to arthritis, health conditions, and medications.

The study shows that people with more missing teeth have more harmful bacteria infecting their gum tissue, and therefore more brain inflammation. Regular checkups with Dr. Locke will help protect your gums, teeth, and memory. In addition, if you have missing teeth, Dr. Locke can restore your image and function with dentures or implants. Contact our dentist office in Waco, Texas at (254) 776-4888 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding Central Texas communities.