There’s been some discussion that poor oral hygiene correlates (not causes) with signs of dementia, which does make sense as hygiene in general often goes by the wayside as a patient develops dementia. However, a new study has found that healthy people with poor dental hygiene or gum disease could be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire’s School of medicine and Dentistry studied the donated brains of ten people with dementia and ten people without dementia. In the brains of dementia patients, the team found traces of the bacteria that is commonly associated with gum disease (Porphyromonas gingivalis). The bacteria make their way to the brain via the bloodstream through typical daily activities such as eating and brushing teeth. The researchers have suggested that each time the bacteria reach the brain, they trigger an immune response that kills neurons. They believe that this process could be one way that the brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease and could also be responsible for causing confusion and memory deterioration.
Furthermore, since some people are more genetically disposed toward developing Alzheimer’s disease than others, the research team also believes that gum disease and poor oral hygiene could trigger the onset of the disease.[..Read More]