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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 11, 2019


Keeping your gums healthy may help you maintain a sharp mind as well as a full set of teeth throughout your life.  A study from the University of Louisville’s dental school shows that a bacterium that frequently causes gingivitis and periodontitis can travel to your brain and help to trigger your mental decline.

The nasty bug in question is Porphyromonas gingivalis.  The researchers demonstrated the genetic fingerprints of the bacterium and its characteristic toxin in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients.  In a parallel mouse experiment, they showed that migration of this bacterium from gum to brain can be halted with agents that block the bacterium’s toxins.   When this blockage is successful, the rodents fail to develop mental deterioration.

The investigators start that studies are now underway to test such blocking drugs in Alzheimer’s patients to see if their disease progression may be stopped or slowed.  Even before such a drug is available, you can help yourself now by eliminating the P. Gingivalis bacteria from your gums.  

That task is as simple as brushing, flossing, or water flossing regularly and by having professional dental cleanings once or twice a year.

Experimental Biology. "Gum bacteria implicated in Alzheimer's and other diseases: Scientists trace path of bacterial toxins from the mouth to the brain and other tissues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2019.

#Gingivitis #periodontitis #dementia #Alzheimers