Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 01 August 2013 15:35
People with poor dental hygiene or gum disease may be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry recently conducted the study. The study looked at brain samples donated by 10 patients to make their conclusions. The research showed that products from Porphyromous gingivalis were present in the brains of dementia patients. This bacterium is affiliated with gum disease.
These types of bacteria may enter the brain through eating, chewing or even brushing one’s teeth. Invasive dental treatment is also a major cause for these bacteria to enter the brain. Based on the information from the study, the bacteria cause a reaction that releases more chemicals that kill neurons. The brain then becomes altered, something that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The discovery of P. gingivalis in the brains of dementia patients is important because this bacterium had not been previously recorded in these patients. It supports the idea that bad oral health may lead to a higher risk of dementia.
The same group that conducted this study put together a study on periodontal disease based on animal models. That study showed that P. gingivalis enters the brain after the animal developed periodontal disease.
This study serves to further confirm that good oral health leads to good overall health.