Study Links Gum Disease To Alzheimer’s Disease

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A new study has suggested that gum disease can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers analysed brain samples from deceased patients who had suffered from dementia and found that there were high levels of the bacteria associated with gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Experts involved in the study explained that bacteria from the mouth can enter other parts of the body via the bloodstream when you eat, chew and brush your teeth and this can trigger an inflammatory response; bacteria from the mouth has already been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes as a result of the risk of inflammation.

Experts from the University of Central Lancashire believe that the arrival of bacteria in the brain could prompt the immune system to start attacking brain cells, causing symptoms linked with Alzheimer’s, such as memory loss and confusion.

The findings of this most recent study support those associated with an American study, which found that neglecting oral hygiene increased the risk of dementia.

Professor St John Crean, dean of UCLan’s school of medicine and dentistry, said that the hypothesis of the study is that poor oral health results in a “chronic assault” on the brain, rather than an acute attack. The study proves that harmful bacteria can travel to the brain and the next step is confirming the possibility that these bacteria can cause Alzheimer’s disease.

The advice from experts is to brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes each time, floss and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

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