Preventing Alzheimer’s: The Connection Between Periodontitis and Brain Health

2023-08-23 14:05:02


Several studies reveal that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by an Alzheimer’s bacterium, periodontitis, which causes inflammation of the mouth and the bones that bear the teeth.

A bacterium is involved

A bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, is associated with a chronic pathology of the gums, gingivitis or periodontitis, oral inflammation that destroys the gums and the bones bearing the teeth. According to a study by Cortexyme, a Californian pharmaceutical laboratory specializing in the fight against Alzheimer’s, published in Science Advances, this bacterium transmits toxic proteins, gingipains. These are the same ones found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

This bacterium which therefore causes a destruction of the supporting tissues of the tooth and its loosening and also damages the hippocampus, an area of ​​the brain dedicated to memory and learning. A study published in review Neurology leads to the same result. 172 people aged 55 and over with no signs of onset of memory impairment were studied.

The latter had dental examinations and brain MRIs for four years. “We have shown that these periodontal diseases can affect the area of ​​the brain associated with thought and memory: the hippocampus. And in particular the left part of it« lit.

How to avoid periodontitis?

The results show that when the periodontitis is mild and some teeth are lost, this causes the left side of the hippocampus to atrophy more quickly. When periodontitis is severe, it affects the age of our brain. When you lose a tooth, your brain ages a year. “We will have to make more careful decisions about saving teeth with severe and difficult-to-treat periodontal disease,” said lead author Satoshi Yamaguchi.

To prevent the risk of developing periodontitis, strict oral hygiene is essential. We brush our teeth twice a day, change our toothbrush every other day, and floss once a day. In addition, it is necessary to go to see a dentist at least once a year. It is also recommended to have a dental X-ray every 2 to 3 years. In addition, sugar, alcohol and tobacco are avoided.

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