Watch CBS News
By Mallika Marshall, MD
/ CBS Boston
BOSTON — Flossing may not only help prevent cavities but could reduce your risk of dementia cognitive decline.
According to the CDC, almost half of adults over 30 and about 70% over 65 have some form of periodontal disease. Poor dental hygiene has been linked to chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Now a new review out of Finland finds that people with poor dental hygiene are 21% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
They say that when bad bacteria are allowed to flourish in the mouth, they can travel to the brain and other organs, triggering inflammation. In the brain, this can cause cognitive loss. To maintain good oral health, you should brush 2-3 times a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning. And if you develop bad breath, tooth sensitivity, or problems chewing, you should be seen sooner.
Mallika Marshall, MD is an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician who has served as the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for over 20 years. A practicing physician Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Marshall serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital at the MGH Chelsea Urgent Care and the MGH Revere Health Center, where she is currently working on the frontlines caring for patients with COVID-19. She is also a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications (HHP), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School.
First published on September 15, 2022 / 5:32 PM
© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Watch CBS News