A  A  A   Print
A Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer's?

A Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer's?

TUESDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Here's another reason to take good care of your teeth: Gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, a small new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed brain samples from 10 people with Alzheimer's and 10 people without the brain disease and found gum disease-related bacteria in the brain samples from four of the 10 Alzheimer's patients. No such bacteria was found in the brain samples from people without Alzheimer's.

"This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacteria and Alzheimer's disease, but not causal association," study author Lakshmyya Kesavalu, an associate professor in the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida, said in a university news release.

The study is the first to show such a link, the researchers said.

Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream during chewing, brushing, flossing and dental procedures. The bacteria can travel in the blood to the brain and can potentially lead to brain tissue degeneration that appears similar to Alzheimer's, the researchers said.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Previous University of Florida research on mice found that gum disease-related bacteria was able to move from the mouth to the brain.

About 64 percent of Americans aged 65 and older have moderate or severe gum (periodontal) disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alzheimer's disease, the leading cause of dementia, affects more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has more about gum disease.

SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, Oct. 3, 2013

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.