There has been a lot of research in the past few years regarding gum disease and its relationship to many illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. Brushing your teeth and maintaining health gums has been linked to overall body health, and goes well beyond simply having that bright, white smile.

New research coming from the University of Bergen in Norway has collected data so strong that they are announcing DNA-based proof that bacteria causing gingivitis (gum disease) can actually move from the mouth to the brain.

The bacteria that causes gingivitis produces a protein that destroys nerve cells in the brain. This type of damage is a critical to memory loss, and therefore, Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to note that the researchers do not state that this bacteria alone causes the disease. However, is does raise the risk for developing Alzheimers, and also results in a more rapid progression.

As a result of this study, the researchers are now working on a drug that can block the harmful enzymes from the bacteria. This may help to postpone the development of Alzheimers. The study has been published in Science Advances.

For optimal mouth, body, and brain health, it is important to brush teeth and floss regularly. If there is a family history of Alzheimer’s and/or gingivitis, it is important to see your dental professional regularly.

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