You probably already know that gum disease is bad for your mouth and poses a danger to your teeth. What you might not know, however, is that gum disease is also a threat to your body’s overall health and that the condition is linked to other serious illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease.
A recent study published in January 2019 in the journal Science Advances takes a closer look at the relationship between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease. This study examined the link between Alzheimer’s disease risk and the bacteria associated with gum disease, P. gingivalis. The researchers who participated in the project studied bodily fluids such as saliva and brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients of various ages who were both living and deceased. The researchers found evidence of the bacteria P. gingivalis in an overwhelming majority of the subjects, noting toxic enzymes in 96 percent of the tissue samples they examined.
Now more than ever, professionals in the dental community understand the link between healthy mouths and overall general health. Gum disease inarguably affects the health of our bodies, brains, and biological systems. The researchers participating in the study found further evidence that the bacteria P. gingivalis is capable of moving from the mouth upward to the brain, eventually destroying neurons. While researchers are still learning and studying more about the bacteria, these recent findings do suggest that gum disease plays a part in how Alzheimer's disease develops.
The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain regular oral hygiene habits and to visit the dentist regularly. The more diligently you brush, floss, and minimize unhealthy foods and drinks in your diet, the better off your gums will be. As you protect your gums from periodontal disease, you will also protect your health both now and in the future.
If you have signs of gum disease in Gasport, NY, it’s not too late to get the help you need. Our dental team can schedule a deep cleaning and dental exam at our practice to help restore your gums to good health. For periodontal disease treatment, please call our Lockport dentist today at (716) 772-7500!