A new British study detailed in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease provides even more information about what many dental providers have already suspected: Alzheimer’s disease can be connected to dental health.  Bloomberg.com summarizes the research performed by scientists at School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire:

Bacteria linked to gum disease traveled to the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that dental hygiene plays a role in the development of the memory-robbing illness, British researchers said.

Signs of the bacterium, known as Porphyromonas gingivalis, were found in four out of 10 samples of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients, while no signs of the bug were found in 10 brains from people of similar age who never developed dementia, according to the results of the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Scientists are still trying to determine whether the bacteria merely exacerbates an existing condition or is involved in actively causing Alzheimer’s.  Lead researcher Stjohn Crean tells Bloomberg, “We’ve shown an association, not causation. It does nothing more than to prove that these bacteria do get to the brain.”

For more information, check the following articles:

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: Poor Dental Health May Lead to Alzheimer’s

Bloomberg: Bacteria in Brain Suggests Alzheimers-Gum Disease Link