Brush Your Teeth, Postpone Alzheimer’s

Image: Paul Huxley, CC BY 2.0

Kim E. Andreassen, June 3, 2019

University of Bergen, Norway – Researchers have determined that gum disease (gingivitis) plays a decisive role in whether a person develops Alzheimer’s or not.

“We discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain,” says researcher Piotr Mydel at University of Bergen (UiB).

The bacteria produces a protein that destroys nerve cells in the brain, which in turn leads to loss of memory and ultimately, Alzheimer’s.

Brush your teeth for better memory

Mydel points out that the bacteria is not causing Alzheimer’s alone, but the presence of these bacteria raise the risk for developing the disease substantially and are also implicated in a more rapid progression of the disease.

However, the good news is that this study shows that there are some things you can do yourself to slow down Alzheimer’s.

FACTS

  • The bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.gingivalis) is one of the main causes of infection in the gums.
  • The bacteria causes chronic infection in the gums but can move to the brain where it can damage nerve cells in the brain.
  • About 50 percent of the population have this bacteria in one or another form.
  • About 10 percent of those having this bacteria will develop serious gum disease, loose teeth, and have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer´s disease.
  • In addition to Alzheimer’s, the bacteria is linked to rheumatism, COPD and esophageal cancer.

Read more. 

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