Everyone knows the vast dental benefits of brushing your teeth. A twice-daily brushing habit can prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and keep your pearly whites shiny. Regular brushing has even been shown to reduce risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Recently, researchers have discovered another benefit of proper oral health: Alzheimer’s prevention. In fact, these researchers found that gingivitis can play a big role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
However, the link between oral health and Alzheimer’s isn’t readily apparent. Believe it or not, research found that the same bacteria that cause gingivitis in the mouth can move to the brain. These bacteria produce a nerve cell-destroying protein, which weakens memory and eventually leads to Alzheimer’s.
Now, these bacteria aren’t the sole cause of Alzheimer’s, so don’t think that good oral health completely rules it out. However, they still drastically increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and may accelerate its progression.
Preventing these bacteria from reaching the brain is simple. Brush at least twice a day, floss once a day after brushing, then finish each session with some mouth wash to grab any last loose particles. In addition, visit a dentist like Absolute Smile at least once every 6 months.
Following the discovery of oral bacteria contributing to Alzheimer’s, researchers went to work on a solution. They’ve recently developed a drug that prevents the bacterial enzymes for damaging nerve cells in the brain, potentially slowing down the development and progression of Alzheimer’s. They plan on testing the drug this year.