Dental Hygiene Linked To Dementia

27 August 2013 Categories: Uncategorized

A new study has linked poor dental hygiene to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in England found the brains of people who’d suffered from dementia before their deaths to contain elevated levels of the gum-disease bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis. The theory is that bacteria from the gums enter the brain, possibly triggering the immune system to release chemicals that kill brain cells and lead to memory loss and confusion — like that seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
Prof. St John Crean, Dean of dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire, said; “The bacteria could be a trigger that sets off a chain reaction in people predisposed to dementia. We are not saying this bacteria causes Alzheimer’s, but it is likely it could make the existing condition worse.”
This adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests a link between gum disease and dementia.
Researchers from the University of California observed nearly 5,500 elderly individuals over an 18-year period. They discovered that those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily.