Good dental hygiene may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study that found a possible connection between gum disease and this form of dementia, according to Bloomberg News.
The research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, discovered a bacteria linked to gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, in the brain tissue of four out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients. In contrast, the bacteria wasn’t detected in the brains of of those of the same age group who never got the disease, Bloomberg News reported.
The study, done by scientists at the University of Central Lancashire in England, lends credence to the belief that bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, including the brain. The idea is that the chemicals that the bacteria produces may help cause Alzheimer’s to develop, according to Bloomberg News.
The takeaway is that people should be diligent in terms of their dental hygiene, brushing and flossing their teeth so that bacteria doesn’t build up in the mouth, increasing its risk of traveling to the brain.
Research has also found a connection between gum disease and some kinds of cancer and heart ailments, Bloomberg News reported.