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Can Poor Dental Health Cause Alzheimer Disease? New Research Reveals

Updated: May 6, 2019



A brand new study published by Science Advances revealed that bacteria called P gingivalis and neurotoxins produced by them (gingipains) are linked to Alzheimers disease and dementias. The scientists found it likely that antimicrobials (AB 1-42) seemed effective in protercting from neurotoxins that play major role in plaque formations. P Gingivalis is a bacteria that has also been linked to cardiovascular disease. This study mentions that 100 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease had P. gingivalis arterial colonization.

During the Alzheimer study, researchers studied mice who were infected with P. gingivalis and confirmed that this infection eventually moved into the brain. They found a corresponding increase in the levels of amyloid beta, an important part of the plaques that kill the brain’s neurons, a defining characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

So is there a link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's?

The short answer is yes, there is. The bacteria we are talking about here is P. gingivalis is one of the bacterias that can cause periodontal disease.

The thing is, our mouths are full of bacteria.

These are great news, and the findings will likely lead to more effective drug treatments for those who may have Alzeimers. It also provides a support for improved home care for patients, especially middle aged and elderly patients. It validates support for more frequent periodontal cleanings (3-4 times per year) and better home care instruction. These "periodontal prophies" may cut down the bacterial load of P Gingivalis in the mouth and could possibly help prevent Alzheimers and dementia.

We encourage everyone, especially older adults, to maintain consistent oral care routine and treat periodontal disease right away to help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s. It is known that more than half of the U.S. adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease. The statistics increases to 68 percent for population 65 and older.

Routine brushing, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis can help identify and treat gum disease, while lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s

To learn more about periodontal disease or schedule your check up call 773-581-1345


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