Long term bad oral hygiene and its various associated ailments and diseases may be connected with the development of terrible mental conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Irfan Atcha DDS talks to us about this shocking link.
A very recent scientific study has revealed a shocking new connection between oral health and general health. This particular study, which was published by the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry, indicates the possibility that poor oral health and conditions such as gum disease share an association with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
"Many studies have, in the past, postulated that bad oral health is linked with the onset of dementia, but this particular research is the first to have identified an oral bacterium in brain tissue," explains All On 4 implant specialist in Chicago, Dr. Irfan Atcha. "This is a long way from home for this gum disease causing pathogen!"
For the purpose of this study, the brain tissue of 10 healthy patients was compared with that of 10 patients identified with dementia. What they found in the tissue samples of four of the patients with dementia was a species of bacteria that usually makes its home in the gums of those with periodontitis - Porphyromonas gingivalis.
The Connection Between Oral Bacteria and Brain Health
Senior research fellow, Dr. Sim Singhrao, says that in light of this discovery they are in the process of formulating and testing a theory that explains how repeat exposure to oral bacteria can lead to immune responses in the brain, which in turn can lead to the death of nerve cells. This ultimately results in memory loss and confusion.
How does this bacteria work its way into the brain? "Through activities you engage in on a daily basis," says Chicago implant dentist, Dr. Irfan Atcha. "Every time you ingest oral bacteria (eating, swallowing and breathing), these micro-organisms gain access to your entire body via the bloodstream; the greater the numbers of bacteria in your mouth (a result of poor oral hygiene) the greater your body's exposure and the higher your risk of developing the associated diseases."
"This explains why gum disease is considered a systemic disease," says the Chicago dental implant expert. "It's not isolated to the mouth. Poor dental health and gum disease affect the entire body."
The Importance of Good Dental Health: Future Research
The findings of this research project really highlight the importance of good dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist for preventative cleanings and treatment. "Looking after your teeth and gums could prove vital for the preservation of long-term brain health," says the All On Four dental implants expert.
It is the aim of this study moving forward to determine whether or not Porphyromonas gingivalis can be used to track the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in patients who are considered to be at risk. This can be accomplished using a simple blood test.
"More research is needed on this particular subject, but it is clear - and has been for many years - that neglecting the health of your teeth is something that affects your life and health as a whole," says Dr. Irfan Atcha. "In addition to its possible connection with dementia and Alzheimer's, gum disease is linked with diabetes, increased risk of stroke, pre-term labor (for pregnant women) and liver, kidney, respiratory and cardiovascular disease."
About Dr. Irfan Atcha, DDS
Dr. Irfan Atcha is an implant dentist with advanced training and the sole owner of a large group practice in Chicago, Illinois. While Dr. Atcha limits his services to dental implants, intravenous sedation and bone grafting procedures, the greater practice offers the full range of cosmetic, restorative and preventative dental healthcare services.
Dr. Atcha has received training from world-renown clinicians, including Dr. Yvan Fortin, Dr. Thomas Balshi and Dr. Paulo Malo, the latter of whom is the man behind the "All-on-4" dental implant protocol. All of these doctors are the international authorities in the fields of dental implantology, fixed oral rehabilitation and zygomatic implants.
Chicago implant dentist, Dr. Atcha can be reached at 312-951-8338 or via his website, www.NewTeethChicago.com
New Teeth Chicago
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