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The Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s

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Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene isn’t just a great practice for achieving the perfect smile and protecting your teeth. Did you know that regular brushing and flossing can also help preserve your memory function?

Perhaps you have heard that your oral health can affect your heart health but you may be wondering how it could also affect your memory function too? Recently at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry a study revealed that the bacteria linked to gum disease could also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The study suggests that this bacteria which is found in the mouth can travel from the mouth to parts of the brain. This culprit bacteria is referred to as Porphyromonas Gingivalis and is responsible for infections in the gums and surrounding tissues. These infections then harm the bones that promote healthy teeth and gums. Still wondering ” okay but how is this all linked to Alzheimer’s disease?”. Well, it turns out that the same bacteria found on brain samples of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease matched that of the bacteria linked to gum disease.

History of Alzheimer’s

What does this mean? This suggests that people with family history of Alzheimer’s should also pay special attention to their oral hygiene. This also means that by developing gum disease, individuals could be increasing their risk for Alzheimer’s and thus, practicing good oral health could lessen that risk. For this research scientists collected and compared samples from same aged individuals who had passed both with and without Alzheimer’s. They findings revealed that those with Alzheimer’s had a presence of  more toxin causing bacteria known as gingipains. Next on the agenda is finding a potential drug to help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Brush daily

In summation, and according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial research you should brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, visit the dentist yearly, and refrain from smoking.

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