It’s not a mystery that poor dental hygiene can lead to unattractive smiles and tooth loss, but did you know that scientists have found links between your poor dental hygiene and diseases such as Alzheimer’s?
The bacteria responsible for gum disease, P. Gingivalis, has been linked to chronic system-wide inflammation. One of these bacterium harnesses the ability to evade your immune system and travel through your body by hitching a ride with your exposed blood vessels. As the bacteria travels through your arteries, your immune system attacks it causing inflammation… However, it is able to disguise itself from your white blood cells. It leaves a trail of immune responses behind as it travels throughout your body.
Scientists have also found a link between the same P. Gingivalis and Alzheimer’s disease. In patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, all of them tested positive for the bacteria living in their brain. In contrast, a test of patients of a similar age without Alzheimer’s revealed no traces of the bacteria in their brain. The bacteria are able to access your brain by crawling up the exposed nerves in damaged teeth or by clinging to blood, like above.
Another study shows that men who suffer from gum disease and inflammation also have a 64% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer in their lives. Studies have only shown, however, that there is a link between P. Gingivalis and pancreatic cancer; not that one causes the other.
And if you have bleeding gums, bacteria is able to attach itself to your red blood cells and travel towards the heart, causing blockages, leading to an increased risk of heart disease. The bacteria will group together, forming clots and decreasing blood flow, and by doing so, they surround themselves in your body’s own platelets and make themselves invisible to your own immune system.
But don’t worry! If your dental hygiene is something to be concerned about, be sure to see your friendly Valencia dentist today to discuss your worries. They can examine your mouth and see if you are at risk of any future illnesses.