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Periodontal Disease May Be Enhancing Alzheimer's Disease

toothbrush with toothpaste

Poor oral health due to periodontal infection may be a key factor for Alzheimer's Disease. What is of concern is that the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis is the keystone pathogen in chronic periodontitis. This bacterium releases toxic proteases called gingipains in the brain that cause amyloid buildup and neurodegeneration.

The amyloid buildup may be the brains protective attempt to ward off this chronic bacterial infection. However, as it increases to buildup over time, the nerve transmission in the area of the brain diminishes with the loss of cognitive abilities such as memory, reading, pattern recognition, information processing, sustained attention and responsible behavior. Or, it may be leading into early Alzheimer's. 

Interesting as well, this bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis has been found in the coronary arteries, placenta and liver of people with Alzheimer.'s Disease. Other pathogens which have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's include spirochete bacteria, which can cause Lyme disease, and some herpes viruses. 

Thus, earlier dental hygiene appointments may be necessary three to four times a year for the elderly, disabled, and those unable to perform daily dental hygiene home care. 
Lawrence Zager, DDS

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