A study from the UK University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) School of Medicine and Dentistry suggests people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease may be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is an interesting new finding, as gingivitis has already been linked to an increase d incidence of heart disease - oral bacteria have been found inside arterial plaque. Diabetics who are insulin dependent often see improvements if they get their gingivitis under control. Other studies show that women with gum disease are more likely than those with healthy gums to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies. A study published in Cancer Prevention Research found poor oral health, including gum disease and dental problems to be associated with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes about 40 percent to 80 percent of oropharyngeal cancers.
The UCLan research examined brain samples donated by ten patients without dementia and ten patients suffering from dementia. The research demonstrated the presence of products from Porphyromonas gingivalis in brains from patients suffering from dementia. This bacterium is commonly associated with chronic periodontal disease. These bacteria enter the bloodstream through daily activities such as eating, chewing, tooth brushing but especially following invasive dental treatment, and from there, potentially enter the brain on a regular basis. The researchers propose that every time they reach the brain, the bacteria may trigger immune system responses by already primed brains cells, causing them to release more chemicals that kill neurons. This could be one mechanism that leads to changes in the brain, which is typical of Alzheimer’s disease, and could be responsible for causing symptoms such as confusion and deteriorating memory. Porphyromonas gingivalis is one of the vials in the Bacteria 2 Test Kit.
Professor Stjohn Crean, Dean, School of Medicine & Dentistry said:
“Whereas previous studies have indicated a link between dementia and other bacteria and viruses such as the Herpes simplex virus type I, this new research indicates a possible association between gum disease and individuals who may be susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease, if exposed to the appropriate trigger! Research currently underway at UCLan is playing an active role in exploring this link, but it remains to be proven whether poor dental hygiene can lead to dementia in healthy people, which obviously could have significant implications for the population as a whole. It is also likely that these bacteria could make the existing disease condition worse.”
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
It is important for everyone to have regular dental check-ups and to floss teeth at least once a day. Some companies now produce probiotic supplements specifically to improve the bacterial flora balance in the mouth. Coenzyme Q10 supplements have also been shown to help some people. The herbal remedy Eucalyptus may be helpful too. In a study 58 people with gum disease ate 2 grapefruit a day for a fortnight and showed significantly less bleeding. Smoking increases likelihood of gingivitis – another reason not to smoke!
If you’re a therapist, checking out clients for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella Intermedia (also in the Bacteria 2 test kit), Entamoeba gingivalis (in the Protozoa Kit), Cathepsin C (in Body Biochemical 1 Test Kit) and Interleukin-8 (from the Interleukin Test Kit) may be particularly helpful. Energy rebalancing procedures include the technique taught in my Energy Mismatch book.
Gum disease is painful and can be embarrassing, but it may be a very important indicator of potential health problems in the future.
Copyright 2013 Jane Thurnell-Read