The Importance of Good Dental Hygiene – It’s More Than Just Tooth Decay
There is a lot more than rotting teeth that can come from poor dental hygiene. The link between higher between the plaque and gum inflammation and the rise of Alzheimer’s Disease among older participants in a New York University (NYU) study.
A New York University (NYU) study concluded that there are gum inflammation and the rate of people that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease after being studied for over 20 years. This was a fairly small study though with about 152 participants in it, but the study commenced in 1984 when the patients were aged well over 70. Comparing these people’s cognitive functions at age 50 and 70 showed greater declines in mental capacity with those that had higher levels of gum inflammation and diseases.
This study also took into account potential conditions like obesity, smoking cigarettes, and other conditions with the tooth decay and gum loss as well as in the decline in the person’s mental functioning.
In 2013, researchers in a UK-based study from the University of Lancastershire (UCLan) was built on the findings of the study compared brain tissue samples from 10 living Alzheimer’s patients with 10 samples from people who did not have any Alzheimer’s disease.
The bacteria that was shown present in the Alzheimer’s brain that was largely missing in the healthy brain is called Porphyromonas Gingivalis
— which is usually associated with plaque in the mouth and gum diseases as well. Another study was published in 2014 following up with that study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: Medical News Today
regarding the findings.
In this article, Dr. Singhrao says there is sufficient evidence to show that two of the three gum disease-causing bacteria also increase a person’s chances of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The path that the gum disease takes is that it crawls into the roots of the teeth and enters paths that take the same bacteria directly to the brain. It usually goes through the body’s blood circulation system which leads all over the body, including right to the brain.
The gum disease is always established first, but once it leaks into the body it can go through the blood circulation system and reach the brain. The hypothesis was further strengthened during recent results from more brain studies showing that the P. Gingivalis
reaches the brain and inadvertently damages the neurons in the area of the brain linked to one’s memory.
Another condition that this same P. Gingivalis
causes pancreatic cancer according to a team of researchers Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. The same bacteria that cause periodontitis has been shown pancreatic cancer. These same bacteria cause the loss of the bone around the base of the tooth and cause teeth to decay and rot, and when the disease gets far enough can result in tooth loss.
Just having gingivitis was not linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. This is when there is just plaque around the gums and the teeth, but not treating gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontitis. That’s why good dental hygiene is vital to keep that disease from advancing to that point in the first place.
A study of over 51,000 men in a long-term follow-up study showed that those that had gum diseases had a 64% increased risk of having gum diseases. The greatest risk was carried by the men who had recently lost teeth due to decay and rotting. This research suggests that the same bacteria that causes tooth loss from periodontitis can also cause pancreatic cancer rates to increase as well.
Yet another follow-up study in 2012 suggested that it could also be possibly due to carcinogenic materials may also be the cause of the pancreatic cancer, and not just the bacteria that cause periodontitis. More research is needed to determine what the link to the actual pancreatic cancer is before conclusions are drawn.
Another condition people may be at increased risk at over having periodontitis and extra presence of the P. Gingivalis
bacteria in their mouths may also be heart conditions. This is more established in research than the connections between Alzheimer’s and pancreatic cancer.
In 2008, MNT reported that there are very much heightened links between people suffering from severe gum conditions like bleeding gums due to poor oral health and the risk they have of contracting a serious heart condition. The bleeding gums and open sores allowed the P. Gingivalis
bacteria to enter the bloodstream which goes back to the source where the blood is pumped from to cause more conditions and that is the heart. This can contribute to triggering things like heart attacks that can cause more serious, permanent damage.
The is all in conclusion to say that the mouth is probably the dirtiest place in the human body with over 700 bacteria existing there. This is why it’s important to ensure you are keeping up with proper oral hygiene. This can help you avoid a myriad of other health problems, not to mention helping you keep your teeth, long into the future.
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or call us 909-465-1016.The Ramona Dentistry Team
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