Alzheimer’s disease: gum disease may increase the risk of symptoms
The global burden of Alzheimer’s disease has shown no signs of slowing down, with health experts warning that the health crisis will only worsen in the years to come. Recent figures now indicate that up to 90 percent of people with dementia have not been diagnosed, underscoring the importance of identifying all risk factors for the disease. A sign when brushing your teeth can be a red flag.
A growing body of evidence indicates that the bacteria that causes gum disease may be a precursor to dementia.
The culprit behind gum disease is the bacteria P.Gingivalis, which can be eliminated by brushing your teeth twice a day or by flossing regularly.
If the plaque begins to mineralize, it will turn into tartar, which will encourage the growth of more plaque towards the roots of the teeth.
This can still be removed using a commercial toothbrush – but in some cases it may require the help of a healthcare professional.
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Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is very common in the UK.
The UK’s National Health Service says most Britons suffer from gum disease to some extent.
Occasional bleeding gums when brushing or flossing doesn’t definitely mean you have gum disease.
Other signs of gum disease include pain around the gums and bad breath. If periodontitis progresses to more serious forms, it can lead to tooth loss and abscesses.
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A study of 59 participants found that people with gum disease saw their memory capacity decline six times faster than those without.
Speaking of the results, Dr Doug Brown said, “This study adds evidence to the idea that gum disease could potentially be a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease, but we would need to see clinical trials to provide stronger evidence.
“If this turns out to be the case, better dental hygiene would offer a way to slow the progression of dementia and allow people to remain independent for longer. “
The causal effect is thought to be due to the bacteria-repelling gum disease-stimulating antibodies, which in turn increase the number of inflammatory molecules around the skin. body.
This It’s important to note, however, that not all cases of periodontitis lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence advises seeing your dentist at intervals ranging from three months to two years, depending on the condition of your teeth.
Evidence confirming the link between the body’s inflammatory responses and cognitive decline suggests that future treatment to treat one condition could help the other as well.
Lead author of a 2017 study illustrating the link between periodontitis and rapid cognitive decline noted, “If there is a direct relationship between periodontitis and favorable decline, as this study suggests, then treatment for gum disease could be a possible treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease. .
“These are very interesting results that build on previous work that we have done and show that chronic inflammatory conditions have a detrimental effect on disease progression in people with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The early characterization of the disease has proven to be an essential tool to help healthcare providers guide patients through Alzheimer’s disease. This will prove to be more important in the years to come, when the number of cases is expected to increase sharply.
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