Oral bacteria from poor dental hygiene has been linked to brain tissue degeneration, a finding that shows a potential association between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers examined samples from the brains of patients with and without dementia and found lipopolysaccharide, a component of Porphyromonas gingivalis, an oral bacterium, in four out of 10 Alzheimer’s disease brain samples. It was not found in any samples from the brains of people who did not have Alzheimer’s disease.
“This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease, but not causal association,” says Lakshmyya Kesavalu, Associate Professor of Periodontology at the University of Florida.
The researchers say the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, is the first to show a link between the existence of the oral bacterium component lipopolysaccharide and Alzheimer’s disease. (Rhodenizer-Florida, 2014)
Dr. Buchanan advises patients to brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day and use a waterpik. She also recommends to floss regularly to prevent bacteria plaque build-up between teeth. Be sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings twice a year too!
Rhodenizer-Florida, K. (2014, October 4). Health and Medicine. Retrieved from Futurity: http://www.futurity.org/alzheimers-may-ties-gum-disease/