Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease
We continue to explore and provide up to date information on your oral health and overall health. There is a lot of bacteria that can be found in the mouth especially when gingivitis or periodontal disease has been diagnosed. There has been a spike in research and interest in linking pathogens from a diseased mouth to other diseases in the body.
The most current article that was released last week links a bacteria that is found in the mouth, called Porphyromonas gingivalis, to alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found this bacteria in both the mouth with gum disease and in the brain.
Now- a lot of news outlets jump on the bandwagon of publishing sensationalized stories without the background research. We see this everyday in the medical field with these vast statements saying ‘so and so causes this’. The majority of diseases are multifactorial, meaning that several things combined can lead to a disease. Example: Heart disease can be caused by poor eating habits, stress and smoking. Often we can not say that only one of these is the cause of heart disease. That is why it is multifactorial.
This article regarding alzheimer’s was published in a scientific journal. Which is good news for research. However- the research was conducted by the pharmaceutical company that is studying different outcomes and treatments for alzheimer’s. This is not a bad thing. It just means that more scientific studies need to be carried out for a more conclusive, evidence based, definitive answer linking gum disease and alzheimer’s.
Nevertheless, this is further motivation to take care of your mouth. Bleeding when brushing or flossing is normally the first indicator of a diseased mouth. By having your regular dental cleanings and taking great care at home to reduce your risk of getting gingivitis and periodontal disease you are decreasing your risk of this pathogen being present in both your mouth and your brain.
Dominy, S., Lynch, C., Ermini, F., Benedyk, M., Marxzyk, A., Konradi, A., Nguyen, M., Haditsch, U., Raha, D., Griffin, C., Holsinger, L., Arastu-Kapur, S., Kaba, S., Lee, A., Ryder. M., Potempa, B., Mydel, P., Hellvard, A., Adamowicz, K., Hasturk, H., Walker, G., Reynolds, E., Faull, R., Curtis, M., Dragunow, M., Potempa, J. Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small molecule-inhibitors. Science Advances. Jan 23, 2019. Vol 5: no1. <http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau3333> accessed Jan 29th, 2019.