Oral Health and Alzheimer’s

weightA new study conducted by researchers at the University of Bergen, Norway, have discovered a significant connection between good oral health and Alzheimer’s Disease. They determined that gingivitis has a very decisive role in whether someone develops this disease or not.

What they discovered by DNA based proof is that bacteria which cause gingivitis can actually move from the mouth to the brain. This bacteria then produces a protein that will destroy nerve cells in the brain which leads to memory loss and ultimately Alzheimer’s.

The bacteria is not what actually causes Alzheimer’s on its own. It is the presence of the bacteria that substantially raises the risk for developing this disease. Additionally this bacteria is also implicated in the more rapid progression of the disease.

However, there is good news. There are things that a person can do to slow down Alzheimer’s. Brushing and using floss is important in preventing gingivitis. If someone already has established gingivitis and they have Alzheimer’s in their family, the need is especially important for regular visits and cleanings at the dentist.

The research team examined 53 people with Alzheimer’s. They discovered the enzyme in 96% of the cases. This knowledge now gives scientists and researchers a possible new approach for studying and attacking the disease.

A new drug that will block the harmful enzymes from the bacteria has been developed. Testing of the drug should occur within the next year.

To view the original scientific study click below

Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors.