How Gum Disease Could Lead to the Development of Alzheimer’s

How Gum Disease Could Lead to the Development of Alzheimer’s

Periodontitis is chronic gum inflammation, a leading cause of tooth loss. Previous studies have associated periodontitis with inflammation throughout the whole body.  Recent studies are showing there is a link between gum disease or periodontitis and Alzheimer’s.

Those particularly at an increased risk for cognitive decline:  those suffering with periodontitis for 10 years or more and over the age of 70.

The question remains, is one the symptom or cause of the other?  Does gum inflammation lead to Alzheimer’s? OR Does Alzheimer’s contribute to gum inflammation?  This is not yet answered.

But this study does support the idea of good mouth hygiene.  Brushing our teeth, taking good care of our mouth and gums is important and should not be over looked in our overall health plan.

Key Points:

  • 1People over 70 who have periodontitis for over a decade are far more likely to develop Alzheimers than those who do not.
  • 2It is unclear what the cause and effect relationship is – whether Alzheimers caused periodontitis, or if periodontitis led to Alzheimers.
  • 3Regardless of the cause and effect relationship, dental health and mental health appear to be connected.


No matter which it is, it is clear that brain and dental health are closely connected and seniors should brush their teeth carefully to prevent the development of periodontitis.
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