Don’t forget to floss and floss so you don’t forget? Emerging evidence linking periodontal disease and dementias

Patients with periodontal disease are significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who are periodontally healthy. This interaction is thought to be mediated by inflammation, the periodontal microbiome, and the immune reactions to those pathogens that are associated with the oral biofilm. The elderly population in the United States is expected to nearly double by the year 2050. Currently, over 5 million adults in the United States suffer with dementia. The generation that makes up the growing elderly population has rates of total edentulism that are dropping precipitously. Furthermore, medications for dementia often increase symptoms of xerostomia, and higher caries rates are seen in patients with dementia, particularly those with moderate to severe disease and/or those who reside in residential nursing care facilities. It follows, therefore, that many older adults are dentate and suffering with dementia and will require dental care that is delivered or facilitated by primary care providers. There is a need for protocols that allow for effective oral home care for dementia patients, while minimizing care-resistant behaviors, as well as nonsurgical interventions for patients with caries and/or periodontal disease. This course seeks to improve the dental care provider’s understanding of the interaction between periodontal disease, dental caries, and dementia. It will also serve as an aid in the clinical decision-making process to optimize dental health for patients with dementia and periodontal disease.

Educational objectives

Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Understand the current scientific literature about the prevalence, etiology, and stages of dementia
  • Recognize and discuss with patients the association of periodontal diseases and oral bacteria with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Develop and implement strategies for communication and delivery of oral hygiene and dental care to patients suffering with dementia
  • Evaluate patients’ risk factors and oral hygiene to develop effective intervention and treatment modalities to reduce caries and periodontal disease rates

MARIA L. GEISINGER, DDS, MS, is a professor and director of advanced education in periodontology in the Department of Periodontology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. Dr. Geisinger is a diplomate in the American Board of Periodontology. She currently serves as chair of the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs and as a member of the American Academy of Periodontology’s Board of Trustees.

Quick Access Code: 22123

Photo credit: 29109988 Copyright Jan Mika |

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: February 2023

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-22123. Expires July 31, 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 490, 750, 730


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code: AADHEBM-011-3-2023-3


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at



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