العناية بصحة ونظافة الأسنان تقي من أمراض عديدة
أثبتت دراسات طبية حديثة أن الأشخاص المحافظين على نظافة أسنانهم وصحة لثتهم (بالعناية بالفرشاة والتدليك والخيط) ليس فقط يقلل من خطر إصابتهم بنوبات قلبية بل أيضاً يخفف خطر الإصابة بمرض الخرف في سن الشيخوخة.
وأثبتت الدراسات أيضاً أن الأشخاص الذين يعانون من مرض الزهايمر، لديهم أيضاً أمراض اللثة الناتجة عن باكتيريا تعيش في لثة الأسنان وتنتقل إلى الدماغ وتتلفه.
علينا المحافظة على صحة فمنا وأفواه أطفالنا. يجب الحرص على تنظيف الأسنان بفرشاة طبية دون جرح أو ضرر باللثة وإستخدام خيط التنظيف لإزالة ما يتبقى من الطعام لازقاً بين الأسنان والمضمضة يومياً صباحاً ومساءاً.
Good oral health linked to reduced risk of dementia
Natasja Sheriff, Reuters | Aug 21, 2012
People who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a new study.
Researchers who followed close to 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year period, found those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily.
“Not only does the state of your mind predict what kind of oral health habits you practice, it may be that your oral health habits influence whether or not you get dementia,” said Annlia Paganini-Hill, who led the study at the University of California.
Inflammation stoked by gum disease-related bacteria is implicated in a host of conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
And some studies have found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains than a person without Alzheimer’s, said Paganini-Hill.
It’s thought that gum disease bacteria might get into the brain causing inflammation and brain damage, she told Reuters Health.
So she and her team wanted to look at whether good dental health practices over the long term would predict better cognitive function in later life.
The researchers followed 5,468 residents of a Californian retirement community from 1992 to 2010. Most people in the study were white, well-educated, and relatively affluent. When the study began, participants ranged in age from 52 to 105, with an average age of 81.
All were free of dementia at the outset, when they answered questions about their dental health habits, the condition of their teeth and whether they wore dentures.
When the researchers followed-up 18 years later, they used interviews, medical records and in some cases death certificates to determine that 1,145 of the original group had been diagnosed with dementia.
Of 78 women who said they brushed their teeth less than once a day in 1992, 21 had dementia by 2010, or about one case per 3.7 women. In comparison, among those who brushed their teeth at least once a day, closer to one in every 4.5 women developed dementia. That translates to a 65% greater likelihood of dementia among those who brushed less than daily.
Among the men, the effect was less pronounced, with about one in six irregular brushers developing the disease — making them 22% more likely to have dementia than those who did brush daily. Statistically, however, the effect was so small it could have been due to chance, the researchers said.
There was a significant difference seen between men who had all, or at least most, of their teeth, or who wore dentures, and those who didn’t — the latter group were almost twice as likely to develop dementia.
That effect was not seen in women, though.
Paginini-Hill could only speculate on the reasons for the different outcomes among men and women. Perhaps women wear their dentures more often than men, and they visit the dentist more frequently, she suggested.
The new findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, cannot prove that poor dental health can cause dementia.
Neglecting one’s teeth might be an early sign of vulnerability to dementia, for instance, or some other factor could be influencing both conditions.
Still, this report “is really the first to look at the effect of actions like brushing and flossing your teeth,” said Dr. Amber Watts, who studies the causes of dementia at the University of Kansas and was not involved in the research.
The new study does have some limitations. Paganini-Hill and her team looked at behavior and tooth count as a kind of proxy for oral health and gum disease. They didn’t carry out any dental exams so they couldn’t determine if people had gum disease or not.
And tooth loss isn’t always related to gum disease, Watts noted. Head injury and malnutrition are also important causes of tooth loss in adults, and any of those might increase risk for dementia, she said.
“I would be reluctant to draw the conclusion that brushing your teeth would definitely prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s disease,” Watts said.
Yet despite the limitations, Watts said the study is an important step toward understanding how behavior might be linked to dementia.
“It’s nice if this relationship holds true as there’s something people can do (to reduce their chances of developing dementia),” said Paganini-Hill. “First, practice good oral health habits to prevent tooth loss and oral diseases. And second, if you do lose your teeth, wear dentures.”
With flossing, it’s good to start with baby steps
By Jeff MacKinnon Postmedia News | Apr 10, 2012
Although she believes her first visit to the dentist was at age five, Ericka Behar is part of a generation of Canadians that didn’t grow up including flossing as a regular part of dental maintenance.
“I have fillings in my mouth,” says the Port Moody, B.C., mother of two. “I don’t want my children to go through that.”
To help ensure they don’t get cavities, Behar has made flossing mandatory for her children, a six-year-old boy and a two-and-a-half-year-old girl.
“They have great checkups,” Behar says. “Flossing is part of their whole routine. When we go to the dentist and the hygienist brings out the floss, they know what it is and what it’s for.”
Vancouver pediatric dentist Dr. Anita Gartner has a word for the material that collects between teeth as a result of not flossing regularly.
She calls it “dirt.”
“This plaque is an irritant and often causes the gums to bleed and it’s the location where the bacteria live that causes cavities,” she says. “It is also smelly.”
There is no specific age at which we should begin flossing, experts say. When two adjacent teeth appear in the mouth, it is time to begin. Parents should help floss their children’s teeth until they develop manual dexterity. After that, they should continue to supervise the procedure until the children have shown they can do it regularly and effectively on their own. “Flossing should not be introduced as a new and foreign object all of a sudden one day,” says dental hygienist Susie Paulozza in St. Lambert, Que.
“Flossing should be integrated early on and as part of the daily bedtime routine.”
Gartner recommends having your children lie down to floss because it is very hard for a child to sit or stand in front of a parent and tip their heads back for a mom and dad to see.
“It’s best to use a piece of regular floss about a foot or foot-and-a-half long,” Gartner explains.
“Floss should be gently threaded through the contacts, wrapped around the tooth and brought up through the contacts.”
Behar says she began flossing her children’s teeth by lying them down on the change table. Now it’s the bed. She also sometimes lays them down on the floor.
“I never floss their teeth in the bathroom. It’s too hard to see. This way they are looking straight up at me,” she says.
Gartner says it is important to use a new portion of floss each time. She does not recommend using floss threaders because she says children don’t have the dexterity to floss properly and because one threader is often mistakenly used for an entire mouth.
“I compare it to wiping the kitchen counters but never washing out the cloth,” she says.
“I have seen a number of families who floss their children’s teeth with these threaders who end up with cavities anyway between their teeth.”
One of the consequences of not flossing is gingivitis, which can lead to tooth loss.
“If gingivitis persists, the underlying bone breaks down and the teeth become loose. This is periodontal disease,” Paulozza says.
“I tell clients to floss only the teeth they want to keep.”
Gartner admits to having plenty of cavities herself as a child, having grown up, she says, in a generation that did not learn about flossing until adulthood.
“If kids learn to floss at a young age then they grow up with the expectation that flossing is normal and not a chore — basically it develops a good habit,” she says.
“I hope that the efforts I have made to floss for my children will allow them to grow up cavity-free.”
Asked what she would tell people who say they don’t floss, Paulozza would say simply it is part of cleanliness.
“Why shower? Why wash?” she responds. “Flossing is part of hygiene.”