How to Protect Your Teeth

Keeping Bacteria Away From Your Head Is An Exceptionally Good Reason To Prioritize Dental Hygiene

It doesn't take much to keep your teeth clean and healthy. A little bit of flossing and up-and-down brushing is all it takes. And as the American Dental Association suggests, you don't even have to do it all day long. Twice a day is enough not only to keep your teeth white but also to prevent any type of inflammation-inducing bacteria. But if you still need a little bit more motivation to go through your daily dental hygiene routine, keeping Alzheimer's-inducing bacteria out of your brain should be enough. This is because not giving your teeth and gums the care that they need significantly increases your chances of suffering from Alzheimer's disease. And there is a study to prove this.

The study

After the 2010 findings that showed that there was a relationship between gum disease infections and the rate of deterioration of cognitive function in human beings, a group of UK researchers set out to find if there was more to the story. Instead of digging around decades of well-kept medical records as the New York University researchers did, these researchers decided to take a more direct approach.

And the method that they settled on? Brain tissues. They went about their research by taking brain samples from patients with Alzheimer's disease and those without. 10 samples each to be exact. They then analyzed the different brain samples and made comparisons.

What did they find out?

What they found out was shocking. Their findings showed that the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease had traces of a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis. This is the same bacteria that is usually found in the oral cavities of human beings, and it is often to blame for many of the cases of gum inflammation in the world today.

As for the people with no Alzheimer's disease history, there was no indication of this bacterium. This is what led the researchers to conclude that there was a strong link between dental hygiene and cases of Alzheimer's disease.

Here is what they believe happens

The bacterium finds its way to the bloodstream through the digestive system - it can also do so in cases of severe oral inflammation that lead to bleeding gums. And through the blood stream, it eventually enters the brain, triggering a severe immune response. The chemicals released as a result of this invasion are sometimes strong enough to overwhelm the brain's neurons, something that eventually leads to the cognitive dysfunction that is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

It is therefore important that you take proper care of your oral cavity. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss as regularly as is necessary and eat enough fruits and vegetables to ensure that your teeth are healthy and that your immune system is strong enough to combat any bacterial infections. It might just save your life.

For more information, contact Plaza Family Dentistry or a similar location.