Gum Disease Linked to Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Dr. James Frizzell pic

Dr. James Frizzell

James Frizzell, DDS, owns and operates an independent dental office in Niagara Falls, Ontario. As a dentist, Dr. James Frizzell is dedicated to offering his patients the latest treatment options and up-to-date information about oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease.

In early March of 2016, researchers from King’s College London and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom published research that links periodontal disease with cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The study took place over the course of six months and followed 59 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. At the beginning of the study, patients received a cognitive assessment and a test of inflammatory markers in the blood, as well as a dental and periodontal health exam. Patients then underwent the same procedures at the study’s end.

Data revealed that those individuals with signs of gum disease at the beginning of the study had a 600 percent higher chance of cognitive decline by the date of the six-month follow-up appointment. Researchers attribute the apparent connection to an increase in bacteria antibodies in gum tissue, which then correlate with a multi-system increase in inflammatory bodies. These inflammatory bodies have previously proven to be contributing factors to the decline of cognitive capacity in patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. More research is necessary to secure more data and determine whether findings indicate a causal relationship.

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