Does Poor Oral Health Cause Alzheimer’s?

alzheimersThe negative effects of poor oral health on your overall health and quality of life have already been well-established.  However, a new study suggests that poor dental health may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease:  a devastating illness that causes confusion, dementia and a variety of other symptoms.

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry recently published a study[1] in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease where they examined brain samples from ten people who had dementia as well as brain samples from ten people who did not have dementia.  Examination of the brain samples revealed the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in the samples of the brains affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  This type of bacterium is usually associated with chronic periodontal disease.  The presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in the samples of the brains affected by Alzheimer’s disease suggests that patients with poor oral health may be more at risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people with well maintained teeth and gums.

This study, among others, highlights the importance of practicing routine daily oral hygiene and getting regular, preventive oral health care from your dentist.  The best way to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and free of periodontal disease is the tried and true brushing of your teeth at least two times per day and to floss your teeth at least once per day.  Any additional measures such as using mouthwash or chewing Xylitol based gum are also encouraged. Getting regular, professional dental cleanings are necessary to help to remove the bacteria that can build up on the surface of your teeth, causing dental problems such as periodontal disease.

For more information about the link between poor dental hygiene and Alzheimer’s or how you can decrease your risk of periodontal disease, talk to our in-house periodontist.  Your consultation is complimentary and just a phone call away.

See more at: or contact us in our office located in the heart of Sandy Springs.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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