Dec 31, 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. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190407144231.htm.
#gingivitis #periodontitis #dementia #alzheimers