Oral inflammatory load and dementia care

A new article on managing dementia suggests there is a pyramid of needs for this progressive disease (see the chart above). Those at the bottom of the pyramid with the mild and early forms of the disease such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), have few needs (yet) and accordingly can be handled largely at home.

Importantly, adults with MCI have very poor oral health. A Swedish study which followed patients with MCI for 3 years found that about half had severe periodontal inflammation which went unaddressed by the caregivers and the medical team.

Yet we know that oral inflammation and its associated bacteria, are linked to cognitive decline. A UK 6-month observational study of 60 non-smoking, community-dwelling adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, reports that subjects with oral inflammation had a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline versus those with healthy mouths. That is to say, those with poor oral health climbed the pyramid of need faster than others.

Chasing oral inflammation during cognitive decline with scaling and root planing or other invasive procedures, is not appropriate nor effective. As the FDA is now suggesting, intervention in this progressive disease, has to happen in the earliest stages.

CHX will be working with a major group of Canadian retirement residences to evaluate Prevora’s role in managing oral inflammation once MCI is diagnosed. Most certainly, Prevora will quickly and painlessly resolve this inflammation. The question is will MCI be arrested too?