Can regular brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist improve your brain health? A new study indicates that brain and oral health may be closely linked. The researchers have identified that gum disease (gingivitis) plays a crucial role in whether a person will develop Alzheimer's or not.
The Connection Between Alzheimer's Disease and Oral Health
Scientists from the University of Bergen in Norway have discovered a clear link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's disease. The team found DNA-based proof that the bacteria that causes gingivitis, a common gum disease, can cross the blood/brain barrier. When that happens, this bacteria produces a protein that destroys the brain's nerve cells, leading to memory loss and eventually, Alzheimer's disease. Though the bacteria in itself can't cause Alzheimer's, its presence can enhance the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. It can also trigger the rapid progression of the disease.
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The University of Bergen's research indicates that a specific enzyme helps to destroy nerve cells in the brain. With this information, the research team is now targeting to develop a new drug that will help in delaying the progression of Alzheimer's disease. This new drug is aimed at restricting the harmful enzymes produced by the bacteria, and the trial is expected to begin later in 2019.
Better Oral Health Can Stop the Progression of Alzheimer's
Overall, these advanced findings suggest that there are simple measures that can stop the progression of Alzheimer's. Routine brushing and flossing have always been the recommended dental practices for maintaining good oral health. However, now it’s more important than ever before to keep up good dental habits. With regular dental visits, people with a genetic history of Alzheimer's disease can also keep their mouth healthy. This is essential because finding and treating gum disease in its earliest stages will prevent the bacteria from causing further harm.
Researchers look forward to developing more tests to find out who may be at a higher risk for Alzheimer's. Also, they hope to learn how to decrease the risk of developing the disease through better oral health care.
If you have any queries regarding oral health care or are looking forward to consulting a dentist in Des Moines, contact us today to help you with better oral health care.