According to a new study, bleeding gums and sensitive teeth are not only painful and annoying, but they are also having a never-before-seen connection with the Alzheimer’s Disease. As scientists reported, the new research established a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. However, everything surrounds Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria that causes chronic gum disease.
In the study, the scientists observed that people with Alzheimer’s Disease presented higher rates of toxic enzymes produced by P. gingivalis called gingipains. Brains with more gingipains than usual also exhibit higher levels of tau and ubiquitin proteins, both linked to Alzheimer’s in previous studies.
“There’s a relationship [between gum disease and Alzheimer’s], but the relationship does not necessarily mean cause and effect. With most diseases of any kind, including gum disease, there are multiple different factors involved and multiple different organisms,” explained Dr. David Stevenson, the president of the Ontario Dental Association, on Global News.
Gum Disease Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease by New Research
“The fact that they have isolated a specific bacteria that are quite common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, I think that’s cause for hope. It does not necessarily cause for skepticism, but it’s cause for hope and caution, and for further studies to try to confirm just what that relationship is, added Dr. Stevenson.
One theory promoted by the new research is that cognitive impairment is causing adverse oral health. However, the second theory is the most concerning one. According to it, improper oral health is causing Alzheimer’s Disease.
“The second, and the one I’m most intrigued by, is whether or not periodontal disease has an influence on cognitive outcomes of aging, either as an independent risk factor for new-onset cognitive impairment including Alzheimer’s disease, or more rapid decline once Alzheimer’s disease has been diagnosed, as was suggested by this study,” said Dr. James M. Noble of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease for Reuters.