Gum Disease may be linked to Dementia

A new study published today states that poor dental health and gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. According to the website, the study, which is from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry, is the first to pinpoint a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain.

The story states that researchers looked at donated brain samples of 10 people without dementia and 10 people with dementia. They found the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of four of those with dementia. This bacteria may play a role in changes in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, contributing to symptoms including confusion and failing memory.

Some everyday activities like eating and tooth brushing, and some dental treatment, could allow the bacteria to enter the brain. “We are working on the theory that when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria and/or debris from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss,” says Sim Singhrao, PhD, a senior research fellow at the university. “This could mean that visits to the dentist could be vital for brain health,” she says. …

Reminds me to get that last mercury filling removed.

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