If you want to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most important things you can do is brush and floss. That’s the conclusion that’s emerging from new research into the connection between oral bacteria and the formation of plaque on the brain’s neurons. We’ve always been interested in the overall health implications of periodontal disease at All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach. We want our patients to have a fuller understanding of what gum disease does, too.
There are several species of bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, but one called Porphyromonas gingivalis, is especially interesting to researchers. P. gingivalis produce enzymes called gingipains to defend themselves against white blood cells. Although gingipains are common, they are found at elevated levels in the brains and spinal fluid of people who displayed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They also trigger the production of neural plaque and can travel to the brain in animals.
Another study, released just a few months ago, proved that P. gingivalis travels between the mouth and the brain in living human test subjects. Although gum disease is probably not the only causative factor in Alzheimer’s disease, we can confidently say it plays a major part. Patients should take care to brush and floss twice a day. If they are still experiencing gingivitis, we can provide them with a deep cleaning.
Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.