According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68 percent of senior Americans (65+ years) have moderate or severe gum disease with 1 in 5 adults having lost all of their teeth. Alzheimer’s disease also serves as the prelude or leading cause of dementia and affects more than 6.2 million Americans in 2021. Why the stats? There may be a link between the two.
In 2013, Health Day News published an article pertaining research results that found a linkage between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. During this study, researchers analyzed brain samples of 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s and 10 individuals without a brain disease; the results were startling. Those with Alzheimer’s showed gum disease-related bacteria in the brain, while no bacteria were found in the brain samples from individuals without Alzheimer’s.
More recently, a 2016 study by University of Southampton and King’s College London set out to determine whether or not periodontitis or gum disease was linked to the severity of dementia. The subsequent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients and seem to back up the original theories. Researchers concluded that because bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth, the bacteria can travel its way through the blood and to the brain, causing potential hazards in the neurological region.
Growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Just one more reminder that it is important to keep up with our daily dental routines.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Alzheimer’s and gum disease connection, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.