It is undoubtedly difficult to have Alzheimer’s disease. As a neurodegenerative disease, the brain slowly degrades and eventually causes dementia. As they become more and more forgetful, many patients end up forgetting the little things that keep them healthy.
Many Alzheimer’s patients suffer from poor oral health because they forget to take care of themselves. This is why it is important that the caregivers of people with the disease make sure that they receive proper oral health care by bringing them to a Hertfordshire dentist like Bow House Dental.
Unfortunately, the loss of independence caused by dementia is not the only reason for the poor oral health of people with Alzheimer’s.
An Unwanted Presence
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, patients who have Alzheimer’s also have an unwanted presence found inside their brain:
The bacterium known as Porphyromonas gingivalis was discovered in the brain tissue of people who had dementia. This bug is more commonly known to be associated with periodontitis and gingivitis.
By studying the brains of diseased patients sourced from a scheme called ‘Brains for Dementia Research’, scientists discovered that people with periodontitis have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than people with healthy gums.
This shows that perhaps people with Alzheimer’s have poor oral health because they already had dental problems before they developed the disease in the first place.
Bacteria Entering the Brain
Periodontitis causes your teeth to fall out. The bacteria keep travelling deeper into the oral cavities, which may affect the health of the gums and the tooth root. Eventually, the bacteria enter the blood stream, usually triggered by common, everyday activities such as chewing, talking and brushing your teeth.
From the bloodstream, the bacteria travel to the brain. When this happens regularly, this may trigger immune system responses that may end up killing neurons or brain cells. This leads to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Proper oral care is important whether you have Alzheimer’s or not. Prevent the onset of periodontitis to minimise the risk of getting dementia in the future.