Dental Hygiene, Dementia and Disabilities: Looks Like Mom was Right … Again

By Jo Ann Simons, Ruderman Family Foundation Disabilities Advisor and CEO Cardinal Cushing Centers

 Reuter’s  recently reported that: “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 U.S. study.”

Researchers at the University of California who followed nearly 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year-period found that those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 percent 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, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

This study is very important for those of us in the disability world since poor oral hygiene is often noticed and reported in people with disabilities.  Together with an increased risk of dementia in certain population groups like Down syndrome, this study should be taken very seriously by caregivers and families.

Remember to brush your teeth … even after eating that apple. And don’t forget to thank your mom.

­­ — Jo Ann Simons

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1 Comment

Filed under Disabilities Trends, Down syndrome, General News, In the Media, Uncategorized

One response to “Dental Hygiene, Dementia and Disabilities: Looks Like Mom was Right … Again

  1. Shelley Cohen

    Beit Issie Shapiro, Rananna Israel has long held the belief that dental hygiene is extremely important for people with disabilities and have created a fantastic dental clinic with specialized equipment that helps create a relaxed conducive environment for people with all types of physical and developmental disabilities. Beit Issie Shapiro’s results have been so positive that they are now teeming up with University of Southern California’s (USC) Dental School and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to teach them their techniques.

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