Brushing and flossing matter more than you think.
Plus: Delicious recipes for midweek!
"Consistency is key." - Unknown
Wednesday. Or hump day, as they call it. Do you remember being a kid and your parents nagging you to brush and floss your teeth? Well, they might have been on to something. It turns out there is more to oral hygiene than just clean, sparkling teeth. Let’s dive in.
Together with Inside Hotels
Hotels We Love: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
There are very few places on earth as beautiful as St. Lucia, and in particular Sugar Beach.
This Viceroy resort offers a laid-back blend of luxury and comfort, with each accommodation attended to by a butler to ensure that you have everything your heart desires for the duration of your stay. Each of their offerings is equipped with a plunge pool or jacuzzi, with some even situated on the beach. Everything here is worthy of the five stars the hotel has earned—from the service, to the numerous and varied dining options, to the Rainforest Spa, where the menu is packed with signature treatments. If you feel like exploring the water, there’s a full PADI® dive facility on-site.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
We’ve all heard it before: “Brush your teeth, floss, and go to the dentist.” Turns out, if you’ve been rolling your eyes at this advice, it might be time to start listening. And we’re not just talking about avoiding cavities or getting that picture-perfect smile for Instagram. We’re talking about your brain health.
What could your mouth possibly have to do with your brain? Good question. New research suggests that taking care of your teeth and gums might be a one-way ticket to keeping your memory sharp as you age.
According to a 2022 report by the World Health Organization, severe gum disease affects 19% of people older than 15. That’s more than 1 billion people! Scientists think this could be connected to Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia. Researchers are not saying gum disease will directly cause Alzheimer’s, but they are saying that if you’ve got really bad gum issues, you’ve got a bigger chance of the disease knocking on your door.
So how does that work? Scientists have zeroed in on two main culprits: bacteria and inflammation. A bunch of studies looked at aging nuns and found those with severe tooth loss had up to 6.4 times higher risk of dementia compared to those with fewer lost teeth. In Taiwan, a ten-year study also showed that people with chronic gum disease had a 1.7 times higher risk for Alzheimer’s. Now, I get it. Correlation doesn’t mean causation, but that’s a lot of smoke not to have some kind of fire.
Researchers are also talking about the whole “chicken and egg” situation. Meaning, people with dementia often have worse oral health because they can’t take care of their teeth as well. So, it’s a nasty cycle; bad teeth could contribute to dementia, and dementia makes it harder to take care of your teeth.
One shocker is that bacteria in your mouth might not just stay there—they could pack their bags and head straight to your brain. A study in 2019 found the DNA of P. gingivalis bacteria, a major player in gum disease, in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These bacteria also produce toxic enzymes that were found in these patients’ brains. Yikes.
And it doesn’t stop at bacteria. Chronic inflammation from gum disease can lead to inflammation in the brain, which we know is a bad actor in Alzheimer’s. If you don’t take care of your mouth, your body will need to fight against the bacteria causing gum disease. This fight leads to inflammation, which can turn into a full-blown battle that can affect not just your gums but also your entire body.
The key takeaway? Preventing a disease like Alzheimer’s is a very complicated thing. So many things affect your risk of Alzheimer’s—smoking, education level, and even your diet. But one thing’s for sure. Brushing your teeth and keeping those gums healthy is a simple thing you can do for your well-being. So the next time you think about skipping the floss, remember you might just be doing your brain a big favor.
1. Feel Good About This Bread!
This zucchini banana bread is a fan favorite. Feel good about indulging with this delicious snack!
How about a little 15-bean soup for the family this week? Enjoy!
3. Knock Out Inflammation With This Smoothie
Anti-inflammatory cherry spinach smoothie for the win! Enjoy.
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