News |2 min read

Is There a Link Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s?

Yolanda Thompson, FAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

A cure for Alzheimer’s.

Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

Any of you with a loved one suffering from this horrific disease know, unfortunately, there is no known cure available.

Even after almost two billion dollars of targeted research, nothing appears even to slow it down.

However, it has been discovered that Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) infection is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It contains the enzyme peptidyl-arginine deiminase, which is involved in citrullination.

While previous researchers have noted the presence of P. gingivalis in brain samples from Alzheimer’s patients, Potempa’s team, in collaboration with Cortexyme, Inc., offers the strongest evidence to date that the bacterium may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dentists and hygienists deal with P. gingivalis every day. It’s the primary cause of gum disease and peri-implantitis.

There’s growing preliminary evidence that this bacteria enters the bloodstream through the infected mouth and finds its way to the brain. Trying to defend itself, the brain produces amyloids and tau, which then leads to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Curing Alzheimer’s

It would be wonderful if it turns out that brushing, flossing, and seeing your hygienist is the solution to curing Alzheimer’s.

Unfortunately, we’ve got a long way to go before there are definitive answers.

So, for the time being, err on the side of caution.

Brush, floss, and follow your dentist’s recommendations. There are many good reasons why, but preventing Alzheimer’s might just be one more.

Meet the Author

Yolanda Thompson FAADOMYolanda Thompson, FAADOM has over 31 years of experience in the dental office. She began as a high school-trained dental assistant, advancing her way to management for a six-million-dollar multi-specialty practice.

Yolanda is a lifetime AADOM member and received her Fellowship in 2018. She currently serves as President of the Houston AADOM Chapter… This text opens a new tab to the chapter’s website….

Yolanda and her husband, Deddrick, have two sons, Darius and Marquis. She enjoys mentoring young ladies and teaching others.




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