The Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s

Jan 9, 2013

Periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease, is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth. It is often preceded by a common bacterial infection of the gum tissue called gingivitis.

Aside from it being the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world, research now suggests there is a significant link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies show that periodontal disease increases the risk of developing the cognitive disorder linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that gum inflammation can lead to brain inflammation and neurodegeneration through infections caused by periodontal bacteria in otherwise healthy persons.

The patients in the study who had Alzheimer’s possessed significantly higher amounts of antibodies and inflammatory molecules associated with gum disease than those who did not have any sort of cognitive impairment.

With that in mind, any kind of inflammation in your youth, or any tooth loss before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as an adult. Two predominant causes of inflammation in young adulthood are poor diet (a lack of protein and/or calcium) and inactivity, as well as smoking.

If periodontal disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, usually one to two dental cleanings will be recommended. However, if periodontal disease is found in a more advanced stage, we recommend receiving professional periodontal treatment so your gum tissue can heal and pockets of inflammation can shrink.

If you are experiencing inflammation in your gums, or would like more information on our teeth cleaning procedures, contact Noble Smile today to set up an appointment with one of our Katy gum disease specialists.