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Alzheimer's Disease Could Develop from Poor Oral Health
Posted on 11/30/2019 by Jasmine Marshall
When it comes to practicing good oral health care, there may be further reaching issues than gum disease and cavities.
Research is growing that shows a link between poor oral health and Alzheimer's disease. Cleaning your mouth each day may turn out to have more benefits than simply a clean and healthy mouth.
Gum disease begins when your gums start to become irritated from a build-up of bacteria and plaque down in the gum line. These pockets full of bacteria begin to develop gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it is estimated that it is experienced by half of adults. Signs of gingivitis include redness, swelling, and bleeding when you floss or brush.
At this stage, it is usually reversible with quick care from a dental professional. If the gingivitis is left untreated, you can develop sub-gingival pockets. These are pockets between the gums and teeth that are filled with bacteria. The gums have now reached the stage of periodontal disease. It becomes almost impossible to remove the bacteria, but dental treatments can help control growth.
Gum Disease and Links to the Brain
At the University of Central Lancashire, they were the first to find a connection between oral bacteria and Alzheimer disease. P. gingivalis bacteria are responsible for many forms of gum disease. It has shown that it can travel from the mouth to the brain of mice. Once it arrives at the brain, it displays all the signs and behaviors found in Alzheimer's disease. There is ongoing research being conducted to determine exactly what the link is.
Knowing that there is a link between the two should be enough to keep us all on our toes. If you notice red or bleeding gums that last longer than 7-10 days with daily brushing. Contact our office, as this is usually the first signs of impending gum disease. When caught early enough, it can be cured.