Do Bacteria Linked to Periodontal Disease Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?

There are certain diseases that are known to become more prevalent as people age. Among those, Alzheimer’s is often one of the scariest diseases because it often comes on without many warning signs, and scientists are still working to uncover what causes this illness. With this said, recent studies have shown that perodontitis (gum disease) might play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Gum Disease?

When you eat food or consume beverages, a small amount of sugars and other ingredients stick around on your teeth. Most commonly, they’ll be found around the gum line because the area between the gums and the teeth is a great hiding spot for elements that can damage your enamel and gum tissue. This area is often hard to get to with toothbrushes, which is why it’s important to floss and use mouthwash.

If sugars stay in this area for too long, they begin to attract the bacteria that grows in your mouth naturally, forming colonies of enamel-eating germs. If those germs aren’t removed properly by a dentist, they can begin to erode your gum line, ultimately finding their way into your bloodstream and traveling throughout your body.

How Are Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Related?

The bacteria that are found in gum disease may contribute to reduced brain function if they reach the circulatory system and find their way to the brain. Some studies show that certain bacterial infections may implicate or exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease. One bacterium in particular—Porphyromonas gingivalis—has been shown to have a negative effect on brain function. It’s been shown to emit a toxic protien that forms a plaque on and between the brain cells that are responsible for communication and memory.

How Can You Prevent Alzheimer’s with Good Oral Hygiene?

There is no surefire cure or prevention for Alzheimer’s at the time; however, good oral health can help keep you safe from bacterial invasions that could alter your brain’s functioning. This includes:

  • Brushing at least twice a day
  • Flossing regularly
  • Using high-quality mouthwash
  • Seeing your dentist at least twice a year
  • Scheduling appointments for cleanings, fillings, crowns, and other oral health needs as they become necessary

As dental health plays a role in your overall well-being, it’s important to find a dentist you trust. If you’re looking for a Montreal dentist who will care for your teeth and give you clean, healthy smile, you’ve come to the right place! Schedule your first visit with our Retter Dental Care team today!