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Gum Disease Linked To Alzheimer's

July 30, 2013

Bacterium enters brain tissue.

Here's one more reason to take care of those choppers! British scientists say they've found a link between bacterial gum disease and Alzheimer's disease. Signs of the bacterium, known as Porphyromonas gingivalis, were found in four out of 10 samples of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients, while no signs of the bug were found in 10 brains from people of similar age who never developed dementia, according to the results of the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to researchers, bacteria in the mouth enter the bloodstream through chewing or tooth removal and end up in other parts of the body including the brain. Over time, the chemicals produced by the bacteria could build up and contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s, according to the theory.

While brushing and flossing can also cause bacteria to enter the blood, researchers said  it’s important to frequently and effectively clean the teeth to decrease the number of bacteria and cut the chance that they will travel outside the mouth—sounds like new ad campaigns could be in the works for Colgate, Crest and Aquafresh!

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