Could Dementia Be Linked To Gum Disease?

Gum disease and bad teeth say scientists could be linked to Alzheimer's. Bacteria caused by poor oral hygiene can kill off nerve cells once they reach the brain which causes confusion and memory loss which is associated with dementia. Researchers who examined the brains of Alzheimer's patients found signs of the bug P.gingivalis. At the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) scientists suspect that the microbe leads to the death of the brain cells by triggering a chemical immune response.

Despite the findings, reported in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease it 'remains to be proven if poor dental hygiene can lead to dementia in healthy people. It is also likely that these bacteria could make the existing disease condition worse' stated Professor St John Crean of the universities School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Dr Simon Ridley of the charity Alzheimer's research UK said 'oral bacterial infection could be a consequence of later stage Alzheimer's rather than a cause'

Gum disease has already been linked to certain health problems such as early cancer deaths and heart disease.