It’s no secret that the health of your mouth affects more than just your teeth. From giving you confidence to determining what you can and can’t eat, the health of your mouth directly relates to your overall health. But did you know it could directly relate to your brain’s health?

According to a report from Popular Science, British and U.S. researchers discovered that four of 10 recently-diseased people with Alzheimer’s had gum-disease bacteria in their brain.

The team of researchers – based at the University of Central Lancashire – didn’t find any of the same bacteria in people without Alzheimer’s.

That’s huge news, as it means dental hygiene could determine whether someone has dementia later in life or not.

Here are some of the highlights from the study:

  • The bacteria travels via your bloodstream – Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria found in the study, is usually present in the mouths of people with gum disease, but it can travel to other parts of the body, including the brain. It tends to happen when someone loses a tooth, but can also get in the bloodstream gradually through chewing.
  • It tends to affect older people – While people tend to get Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life, gum disease bacteria can increase the risk for it. The higher the gradual build-up of the bacteria in your brain (via your bloodstream), the higher chance you’ll have a memory-robbing illness when you’re older.
  • More than a fourth of us are at risk – Since around 30 percent of people have gum disease at some point in their life, it’s possible that same number of people will be at risk for dementia. That number looks to be increasing, as the World Health Organization predicts a tripling in dementia cases by 2050.
  • It’s important to maintain good dental hygiene – While it’s not certain whether the gum disease bacteria actually causes Alzheimer’s, it’s definitely associated with it somehow.

That’s why it’s important to brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease that could get into your bloodstream.

Worried about Alzheimer’s? Schedule a consultation with us today to see if you have any signs of gum disease and how you can address it.

About Your Oxnard, CA Cosmetic Dentist:

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jivraj contact our Oxnard, CA, dental office today by calling 805-800-8289. Our office welcomes patients in and around Oxnard, CA, including Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Ventura, and the surrounding Southern California communities.

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Anacapa Dental Art Institute

We’re proud to help everyone achieve the smile of their dreams. We’re located in Oxnard and serve the surrounding communities including Santa Barbara, Ventura, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills, Simi Valley, Calabasas, Port Hueneme, Malibu, and Westlake Village.