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The Links Between Poor Dental Health and Alzheimer’s

Posted on 26.05.2014 by perfectsmile

The first and most obvious bonus of taking care of your teeth is that you’ll have a smile which you can always feel confident in. Knowing your teeth look clean, healthy and strong will mean that you can relax and express yourself fully, safe in the knowledge that the impression you’re creating is immediately positive. Another plus point of visiting your dentist on a regular basis, however, is that links are now being established between cases of bad dental health, or hygiene, and illnesses and conditions which affect your general health.

One example of this phenomenon is the study recently carried out by the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry, which was investigating suspicions that there might be a link between gum disease or bad dental hygiene and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study employed was to examine the brains of ten different patients who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s. Upon inspection, it was found that bacteria known as Porphyromous gingivalis were present in the brains. This is a bacteria often found in the mouth of people suffering from periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, and in the past it has been linked with rheumatoid arthritis.

The theory is that the bacteria enter a person’s bloodstream when they are eating and chewing, or even when they are brushing their teeth and that they can also be introduced to the system via more invasive forms of dental treatment, and from then make their way around the body before finally reaching the brain. The study found that, once present in the brain, the bacteria had the effect of causing a chemical reaction which killed the neurons in the brain in a way which altered its structure. It’s this alteration which is associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s and has led to the concept that keeping your teeth clean and healthy will help to stave off some of the worse effects of ageing. The impact of these findings lies in the fact that this bacterium has not previously been found within the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, and that in studies made of animals, the Porphyromous gingivalis bacterium was found in the brains of those which had been suffering from periodontal disease. When it’s also borne in mind that links have been established between plaque and hardened arteries and gingivitis and heart disease, it’s clear that looking after your teeth in partnership with a dentist is a major step towards growing older and staying healthy.

If you want a dazzling smile, and the on-going good health which will make you want to smile, then book an appointment with a dental hygienist in London or anywhere else in the UK. Keeping your teeth clean, it’s increasingly obvious, means keeping yourself fit and well.

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