The link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s

In the journey to understand Alzheimer’s disease, unexpected connections stretch beyond the brain. One such link leads us to an unexpected place: “Our mouths.” Recent research suggests that the health of our gums could play a significant role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The common risk between Alzheimer's and gum disease:

At first, Alzheimer’s and gum disease may seem unrelated, but they’re connected. Both conditions involve inflammation, and the bacteria responsible for gum disease can potentially travel from the mouth to the brain, making Alzheimer’s worse.

Why inflammation is important:

Long-lasting swelling is important in both Alzheimer’s and gum disease. The ongoing swelling in the gums can move around the body, including to the brain, making Alzheimer’s symptoms worse and helping it get worse over time.

Shared mechanisms:

Beyond inflammation, Alzheimer’s and gum disease share other mechanisms, such as immune system dysfunction, oxidative stress, and vascular issues. Bacteria from gum disease may directly impact brain health by producing harmful substances and disrupting neuronal function.

What you can do:

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for overall health, including brain health. Simple habits like brushing and flossing regularly, along with routine dental check-ups, can help prevent gum disease and potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Early treatment of gum disease may also have benefits for thinking ability.

As we learn more about Alzheimer’s, we’re discovering that taking care of our gums could be important in preventing and treating it. By keeping our gums healthy, we’re not just keeping our smiles intact but also safeguarding our ability to think as we get older.

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