Bacteria from chronic gum disease has been found in brains suffering from Alzheimer’s. Bad oral hygiene has been a known risk factor for dementia but researchers now suspect that bacteria from gum disease may somehow cross into the brain and cause or worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is linked to gum disease – but bad oral health is not the only culprit

For most people, teeth cleaning may just be a normal part of your daily routine. But what if the way you clean your teeth today, might affect your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease in years to come?

There is an increasing body of evidence to indicate that gum (periodontal) disease could be a plausible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies even suggest your risk doubles when gum disease persists for ten or more years. Indeed, a US study published in Science Advances details how a type of bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis – or P. gingivalis – which is associated with gum disease, has been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Tests on mice also showed how the bug spread from their mouth to brain… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

15 thoughts on “Bacteria from chronic gum disease has been found in brains suffering from Alzheimer’s. Bad oral hygiene has been a known risk factor for dementia but researchers now suspect that bacteria from gum disease may somehow cross into the brain and cause or worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms.”

  1. Reich2choose

    BRB, going to brush my teeth

  2. FartPie

    I work with a company that provides dental hygiene to nursing home patients. Their mouths are usually completely neglected, whether it be because they physically can’t brush or forget, nursing home staff usually don’t help them with it. I’ve had dental assistants tell me they’ve seen people’s mouths with the last three meals they’ve eaten still mashed around inside.

  3. handcraftedcandy

    Dental health has so many impacts on overall health, I really think it should be considered one in the same rather than having separate insurances and treatments like it is here in the US

  4. Fine_Accident

    >Existing research shows that other types of bacteria and the Herpes type I virus can also be found in Alzheimer’s disease brains. People with Down’s syndrome are also at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as are people who have had a severe head injury. Research also shows that several conditions associated with cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This suggests there are many causes with one endpoint – and scientists are still trying to figure out the connection.

    Super fascinating.

  5. Titty_diddler

    Dentist here. It’s almost certainly not the bacteria or gum disease itself, but rather the chronic inflammatory state your body is in to fight off these bugs. Elevation in C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, as well as other pro inflammatory markers likely contributes to neurofibrillary tangles and tau protein aggregates.

  6. Rottsnottots

    My very back molar had been pulled as a teenager due to cavity, and the next molar had a root canal. Later on, as an adult, I had dental insurance, but I was leaving my job. Fortunately, I had cobra insurance, so I had to make some decisions quickly about making the most of my remaining time having dental insurance. I decided to get braces and an implant to replace that last tooth. After some back and forth with my endodontist and dentist, I was advised to pull that remaining root canal tooth and put the implant there. I was in no pain whatsoever, but they were suspect of a light white area at the base of the root. It could have been a current infection or bone loss, from an infection the 10+ years before when I had to get my root canal. I chose to get it pulled to be safe and it was infected. My dentist pulled that bad boy and I could smell the stinky puss.
    At the time, I had been suffering from mildly debilitating sciatica. Some days I couldn’t put my socks on. I spent thousands on chiropractors, acupuncture, and massage. I ate ibuprophen.
    About three days after my pulled tooth. I just noticed an energy in my body. I felt like I wanted to move. I got on my treadmill and did some light jogging/walking, but stopped after 10 minutes bc I didn’t want this sudden good body vibes to go away. It took about 3 days for me to piece it together. For me to get to the point of like “why the fuck am I pain free, after years of daily pain. What has changed” the light went off and I traced it to my tooth. I read up on it, and even spoke with my oral surgeon. The constant leaching of bacteria from your teeth, into your body can have disasterous effects. He said that I probably still have sciatica issues, but the infection made it unbearable. The sad thing is I got lucky to have had insurance and made the decision to invest in my teeth. Even with insurance, the braces and implant probably cost me upward of 4 grand. I was making gross $35,000 at that time. That was a huge expense, but I knew, living in the US, I may never have dental insurance that good again. And what if I had not done it? My infected tooth caused me no pain whatsoever. I would never have suspected it was the culprit. It makes me sad to think of all of the suffering I would have endured.

  7. booyaabooshaw

    Forgetting to brush your teeth will now make you forget to brush your teeth more

  8. AlcoholPrep

    Heart disease has also been correlated to gum disease.

    If you ignore your teeth they will go away — and flip you off as they leave.

  9. Fine_Accident

    I wonder if we will ever live in a time where we understand how bacteria interacts with our body as well as we understand how food interacts with our body.

  10. Kyrle129

    But wouldn’t people with alzheimers eventually end up having bad oral hygiene

  11. TexasVulvaAficionado

    Time to dig into the causation vs correlation factors. Very interesting stuff.

  12. misterbeef

    well, haven’t brushed my teeth in years due to depression.

    i hope this can get me to start doing it again

  13. StarkRG

    So forgetting to brush your teeth can result in you forgetting to brush your teeth more often? Sounds like a bacterial conspiracy.

  14. Grandpa_Dan

    And yet Dental health coverage is considered a privilege…

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