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If you’re over 30, chances are you’ve got gum disease. A new study published in the August 30, 2012 issue of the Journal of Dental Research apparently confirms the gloomy news: based on data from a nationally representative sample, 47 percent of the U.S. population has gum disease.The investigation reported that about 9 percent of Americans have mild gum disease, 30 percent have moderate disease and 8.5 percent have severe disease.
Gum disease isn’t just a sign of poor dental health; it can also be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. In addition, new research published in the August 2012 edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows an association between how often you brush your teeth and the risk of dementia in old age.
The investigators followed nearly 5,500 seniors for 18 years and 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. The lead investigator suggested that the bacteria that cause gum disease may affect the central nervous system and cause inflammation and damage leading to dementia.