brain health

Illustration of a human brain on a blue background

This one should be a no brainer. Oral health + brain health = a healthier, happier you.


The Connection Between Gums and Brain Health

Don’t be confused by the big medical terms about the brain. It should really be a no-brainer. Researchers are discovering chronic gum inflammation can increase the risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. To break it down a little further, recent studies found that the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease may be produced in direct response to gum disease.

Illustration of a patient's view sitting in the dental chair while the dentist works on their teeth


Over a 10-year period, chronic periodontitis is associated with a 70% increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

image of a black and white analog clock


Approximately 72% of Alzheimer patients have poor oral hygiene.

image of a black and white toothbrush and floss pack

65 Seconds

Someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease every 65 seconds.

three people standing together side by side


People with chronic gum inflammation are 4.5x more likely to suffer from a stroke.

image of a black and white brain

Bacteria And Inflammation Can Affect Your Brain

So, how are gum disease and brain disease connected? One word: Inflammation. As a result of chronic inflammation from periodontal disease, oral bacteria breaks into the bloodstream through the gums and can travel to organs throughout the body, including the brain. This type of bacteria is called porphyromonas gingivalis. (Yes, that is a big, long word.) Once in the brain, the bacteria releases enzymes called gingipains, which sounds like a bad word for people with red hair. It’s actually something that can destroy nerve cells, which in turn can lead to memory loss and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic gum inflammation doesn’t involve just your mouth, it affects your overall brain health.

Floss and toothbrush

Keep Learning

Read more about your heart and the Mouth-Body Connection with this special issue of the Generations of Smiles magazine. 

smile generation magazines

Floss Like A Boss

While there are many factors involved in brain health, it’s essential to prioritize your oral hygiene habits. First off, make sure you’re brushing twice a day. Floss like a boss, and have a mindful conversation with your Smile Generation-trusted dentist at your regular appointments.

women flossing her teeth in front of mirror

Got questions?


Smile Generation-trusted dentists make understanding the Mouth-Body Connection simple. Call us at 1-800-SMILEGEN to get started.

Oral health is linked to brain health in many ways. Inflammation that results from tooth decay and gum disease can impact the way your brain functions and increase your risk of both brain disease and cognitive decline. This is part of the Mouth-Body Connection.®


A proper oral health regimen includes regular visits with your dentist, who will clean your teeth and treat any signs of infection or other oral health condition. Treating these problems early can help you avoid the worst ramifications to both your oral and brain health.


Learn more in our blog article, "Why Poor Oral Health Can Affect Your Ability to Learn"

Yes, periodontal disease has been linked with an elevated risk of potentially deadly brain illnesses such as stroke as well as cognitive decline. Studies show that bacteria in the mouth can travel to the brain and become a factor in the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Studies show that people with oral health problems can have up to a 26% higher risk of dementia.


Learn more in our blog article, "Link Between Periodontal Disease & Other Health Issues"

Cavities and gum disease cause inflammation that travels through the same pathways in your body that go to the brain. This inflammation affects the brain by increasing the risk of stroke and other brain diseases. It also impacts the way the brain works, causing problems with the way you learn, solve problems, and recall memories.


Learn more in our blog article, "Why Poor Oral Health Can Affect Your Ability to Learn"

Taking care of your teeth at home will help you take care of your brain. Follow a basic oral hygiene routine to lower your risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease so you can avoid the associated risks to your brain health. Creating a healthy smile starts with good oral health habits, including:


  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Maintaining a low-sugar diet
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Drinking plenty of fluoridated water
  • Visiting a dentist twice a year

Learn more in our blog article, "Why Poor Oral Health Can Affect Your Ability to Learn"