Is There a Link Between Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease?

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Do you frequently seem to have red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums? If so, you might want to consider getting it looked at and treated as soon as possible. Recent studies are suggesting that there could be a correlation between chronic periodontal disease in your early life and developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Some researchers were able to examine samples from 20 deceased people, half of them had been diagnosed with dementia. Of those who had the disease, four of them showed signs of having had periodontal disease as well, while the others, and those who did not have the disease, did not.

Another study focused on twins, where only one had been diagnosed with dementia. It was conducted via a survey and included questions about missing or loose teeth. The researchers were then able to use those questions to help build a theory that there could be a connection between the diseases.

Of course, more study and testing may need to be performed before the working theory can be developed into a hypothesis and more evidence can be gathered. One theory is that when the bacteria that can cause periodontal disease reaches the brain, it might set off an autoimmune response, which may inadvertently kill brain cells. But if this link can be proven, through more case studies, it could mean a major scientific break through in the mental health world. It could mean that we may be one step closer to preventing, if not curing, Alzheimer’s.

If you would like to know more about the potential connection between Alzheimer’s disease and periodontal disease in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, or if you would like to schedule a routine cleaning with Dr. Scott Fellows, you are welcome to call us at 570-622-0331. At Fellows and Smink Dental Associates, we would be happy to help look after your dental health.