Good oral health may protect against Alzheimer’s

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As we’ve mentioned in many of our other articles, gingivitis (gum disease) has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer, but more studies are emerging to show that the bacteria that cause gum disease also may be connected to Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the School of Dentistry, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), were the first to report the connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Now, two more studies from the same research group at the School of Dentistry illustrate further investigations into understanding stronger connections between gum disease and deteriorating brain function. 

The studies published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports help to provide a deeper understanding of the abnormalities in the brain that characterize Alzheimer’s disease: known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, beginning with mild memory loss and often leading to the loss of ability to communicate and respond to the environment. Unfortunately, the exact cause is not yet fully understood, making the disease hard to prevent and treat. 

It has been previously discovered that the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, involved in the destruction of gum tissue, and the enzyme it produces, known as gingipains, are specifically linked to Alzheimer’s disease after they were found in the brain tissue of those suffering from the disease. 

These two studies further explore how gum disease and its bacterial proteins can potentially contribute to forming abnormalities in the brain. 

The first study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, reveals that nerve cells in the brain contain an “established substrate for gingipains” called tau. When the tau protein meets the gingipains enzyme, the tau is then released from the nerve cell, where it begins to physically change in the form of coils and non-coiling filaments. These filaments then re-attach to the nerve cell forming abnormal accumulations of tau proteins called neurofibrillary tangles, which kill the nerve cells.

This means that when a nerve cell dies, the tau protein is leaked into the brain and may attach to neighboring healthy nerve cells, furthermore repeating the process until more damage is spread throughout the brain. 

The second study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, explores the way the gingipains enzyme contributes to the formation of amyloid-beta plaques – another of the abnormalities, alongside neurofibrillary tangles, which form in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Shalini Kanagasingam, Specialist Endodontist and Senior Clinical Lecturer at UCLan, who led the study (supervised by Dr. Sim K. Singhrao), said: “What this kind of research proves is the importance of our oral health. Look out for early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums when brushing, or more advanced signs, like movement or drifting of the teeth.

Don’t delay or skip your dental check-ups. Your dentist will be able to help advise you on how to effectively remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, which harbor the bacterium that we have identified as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. These studies highlight the key message that a healthy mouth is important for maintaining a healthy body and mind.”

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An all-natural solution for your gums

Along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, using a natural oral health product devoid of all toxins and chemicals is the most important thing you can do for your oral – and overall – health.

This is why we recommend completely giving up using toothpaste. We know that can be difficult for some people, but most kinds of toothpaste are filled with harmful toxins and chemicals detrimental to your health, oral and otherwise. Even the “natural” kinds of toothpaste from health food stores contain glycerin, which forms an invisible coating over your teeth and gums that acts as a barrier to essential nutrients and significantly hinders your body’s natural healing processes. 

Good-Gums all-natural solution for gum health is made from 100% natural ingredients and jam-packed full of vital nutrients that are designed to be easily absorbed by your gums, giving nutrition to your entire body. 

We use myrrh, peppermint, baking soda, French grey sea salt, cinnamon, cranberry, vitamin C, and citrus bioflavonoids – and nothing else. If you’d like to know more about the potent, powerful qualities of each ingredient we use, check out our ingredients list.

Your mouth is the window to the rest of your bodily health, so by looking after your gums, it’s not just gum disease you keep at bay.

Click here to try Good-Gums.

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