A new study linking Alzheimer’s disease with oral bacteria suggests that the effects of poor dental health could extend far beyond the mouth. This finding highlights the importance of taking care of your dental health through good hygiene, regular dental visits, and early interventions to prevent the spread of decay.
The Link Between Dental Health and Dementia
A recent study has revealed that a type of bacteria best known for its involvement in causing gum disease is also found in brain samples taken from people who have suffered from dementia. This bacterium, which has the scientific namePorphyromonas gingivalis, usually lives in the mouth, but is able to travel through the blood to the brain and other parts of the body if there are cuts, open wounds, or inflammation in the mouth.
Do Bacteria Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
The study found oral bacteria in four out of ten brain samples taken from people with dementia. In contrast, the bacteria were not found in healthy brain samples. However, this finding is not solid proof that oral bacteria causes dementia to develop. Researchers are not yet sure whetherPorphyromonas gingivalis causes Alzheimer’s disease, or whether the disease simply makes it easier for the bacteria to live in the brain. Further research is needed to find out whether or not there is a causal link.
Poor Dental Health Spreads Bacteria
Dental surgery is essential for removing deeply decayed teeth and treating advanced gum disease. Without intervention, patients can develop serious infections. However, surgically opening up the gum tissue allows oral bacteria to move into the blood. The bacteria can then travel to the brain and to other parts of the body. Untreated gum disease could also increase the risk of transmission, as diseased gum tissue becomes inflamed, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel into the blood.
Protecting Your Dental Health Protects Your Body
A number of recent studies have linked oral bacteria with a range of serious health conditions. In order to stop bacteria from travelling to other parts of the body, you need to take action to prevent gum disease. The best way to keep your gums healthy is to brush and floss every day to remove plaque, and see your dentist for regular check ups.