One of the keys to a healthy mouth is ensuring that your gums are in optimum health. Unhealthy gums can lead to gum disease, which is serious and in severe cases can damage the jawbone and require surgery.
However, the importance of maintaining healthy gums goes even further, as recent research in Medical News Today finds that there is a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s.
Keep reading for more on these findings.
Gum disease and Alzheimer’s — a serious risk
Tufts University researchers discovered a correlation between gum disease and Alzheimer’s via a mouse study and think the findings could help lower the risk of both of the diseases, as described in a neuroscience publication.
The findings include mention of bacteria in the mouth having the potential to exacerbate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in more ways than one. First, gum disease causes inflammation on a local and systemic level, which, researchers say, affects the phenotype of the disease.
Secondly, gum disease can migrate and penetrate the brain and secrete molecules that increase the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The lead researcher notes that the findings do not prove that gum disease can directly cause Alzheimer’s, however, it does in fact indicate that if gum disease is left untreated, symptoms of Alzheimer’s could worsen. Hence, the importance of treating gum disease early on.
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