We have all been informed over the years that our oral cavity can contribute to many systemic diseases. In fact, certain bacteria located that may be found in our mouths can lead to certain cancers, miscarriage, and erectile dysfunction.
Recently, a few articles headline the findings that there was a correlation between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s. If you are unaware, Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that effects the elderly population and periodontal disease is a gum infection, to sum it up. A study from scientist at the University of Louisville found that in the brains of deceased Alzheimer patients was Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria found in patients diagnosed with periodontal disease, were found in patients that were diagnoses with the neurodegenerative disease. In contrast, the controls used for the experiment found that those deceased patients that did not have Alzhemiers also, did not have the bacteria located in their brains. (Science Advances)
While this is a huge advancement in obtaining knowledge about the disease, this bacterium is not the sole contributor of Alzheimer’s. There are many genetic proponents that contribute to it and many more studies need to be completed. It is however a step in the right direction.
If you or anyone you know have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, ask questions. There are salivary tests available to find out what specific bacteria are causing your disease and how to help maintain it. Many of these tests also explain what systemic diseases are linked to the bacteria found in your mouth. Take your oral health serious; it’s the gateway to the rest of your body!