ORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, but did you know that recent scientific research suggests that it could actually be caused by an infection? This is still being researched. However, a recent paper published by scientists at the University of Louisville identified a surprising source for the bacterial infection that may cause Alzheimer’s: gum disease. Terry Soule, DDS, knows this sounds unusual, but if true, it means good dental health could help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s. That’s why we want you to understand that any link between untreated gingivitis and dementia is one link too many.
Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease Research
In the previously mentioned study led by Jan Potempa at Louisville, researchers detected the same pathogen, porphyromonas gingivitis that causes gum disease, appeared in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients. Other studies have identified a possible link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease before, but this time there was a study done using lab mice. The mice were given the oral gingivitis infection. Then their amyloid-beta production was increased. Amyloid beta is the sticky protein often associated with Alzheimer’s. These two factors led bacteria to colonize in the brains of the mice.
The researchers doing this study aren’t claiming that this is direct causation or the only correlation. However, it is apparent to many now that there is a strong link between these bacteria and Alzheimer’s risk. In addition to the sticky amyloid-beta proteins, there are also toxic enzymes called gingipains that these bacteria secrete in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These gingipains also were found in patients who never were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
What does this mean for you?
Even one link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease means that you should be considering more serious treatment options for your periodontal disease—and being more diligent about your dental health to prevent gum disease from forming in the first place. We know smoking causes lung cancer, and that’s why you shouldn’t smoke. So, if the same could be said about gum disease possibly causing Alzheimer’s, why wouldn’t you have your gum disease treated? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. It’s important to get treatment if you have it, and continue practicing good oral care at home to prevent it from getting worse.
At Terry Soule, DDS, we offer treatment plans for patients with periodontal disease. Repetitive therapy refers to a combination of two different non-surgical procedures that help combat gum disease: scaling and root planing. If gum disease is identified and treated while still in the initial stage of gingivitis, then repetitive therapy may help stop the disease before permanent damage has been done to your oral health and your overall health. Laser perio therapy accomplishes the same goal as traditional gum surgery, but rather than use a scalpel, we use a soft tissue laser to vaporize the infected gum tissue that is causing your gum disease. We also offer additional services to help combat this devastating oral disease. At Terry Soule, DDS, we will recommend the most effective treatment plan for your case.
Gum disease treatment in Orange City
Alzheimer’s is a scary disease that hasn’t had enough medical advancement regarding prevention and treatment. If there’s a chance you could save you and your loved one from suffering from the side effects of Alzheimer’s while taking care of your dental health, why would you hesitate to do so? Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling (386) 775-1552. Terry Soule, DDS, serves the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, Florida.