Although past studies have suggested a link between oral health and dementia, this is the first to pinpoint a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain.
The research, which has received international collaboration, and led by Professor St john Crean and Dr Sim Singhrao from UCLan, examined brain samples donated by ten patients without dementia and ten patients suffering from dementia. The research demonstrated the presence of products from Porphyromonas gingivalis in brains from patients suffering from dementia.
Porphyromonas gingivalis is found in the oral cavity, major causative agent of chronic periodontitis . Chronic periodontitis is a common disease of the oral cavity consisting of chronic inflammation of the periodontal tissues that is caused by accumulation of profuse amounts of dental plaque.
James Loye comments, “This is an incredible discovery for both mental health and oral health. In terms of modern dentistry, this specific finding may provide greater acceptance that improved regular hygiene can help reduce a person’s risk of developing many significant health problems.
Professor St john Crean, Dean, School of Medicine & Dentistry said:
“Whereas previous studies have indicated a link between dementia and other bacteria and viruses such as the Herpes simplex virus type I, this new research indicates a possible association between gum disease and individuals who may be susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease, if exposed to the appropriate trigger! Research currently underway at UCLan is playing an active role in exploring this link, but it remains to be proven whether poor dental hygiene can lead to dementia in healthy people, which obviously could have significant implications for the population as a whole. It is also likely that these bacteria could make the existing disease condition worse.”
Reacting to the findings, Alison Cook, director of external affairs at the U.K.’s Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There have been a number of studies looking at the link between dementia and inflammation caused by factors including poor dental health.
Dr. Sim Singhrao, PhD, a senior research fellow at the university says:
This could mean that visits to the dentist could be vital for brain health, she says.
In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 325 patients with Invisalign