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Gum & Alzheimer's Disease: The Surprising Link in Oral Health

At Blackall Terrace Dental in Nambour, we're all about your complete well-being, starting with your smile. A recent study featured in the Journal of Neuroinflammation has uncovered an unexpected connection between gum disease and the development of amyloid plaque, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. This research opens a new door to understanding how oral health can impact your brain health, highlighting the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums.

A scientist looking into a microscope.

Cracking the Code

Researchers from the Forsyth Institute in Massachusetts and Boston University have revealed something fascinating – gum disease might play a role in the creation of amyloid plaque, a protein that's linked to the brain damage seen in Alzheimer's patients.

The Unsung Heroes of the Brain

The study zooms in on microglial cells, which are like the brain's clean-up crew. These cells usually break down amyloid plaque. However, the study found that when microglial cells encounter oral bacteria due to gum disease, they become too active and end up trying to 'eat' too much plaque. This leads to them getting overwhelmed and unable to properly do their job.

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Building a Healthier Future, One Smile at a Time

Dr. Alpdogan Kantarci, the senior author of the study, believes that understanding how oral bacteria triggers inflammation in the brain can help in creating targeted strategies. This study underscores the importance of keeping gum disease in check to possibly prevent brain inflammation and related conditions like Alzheimer's.

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Your Journey Towards Total Health Begins Here

It turns out that taking care of your teeth and gums isn't just about your smile – it's also a major factor in safeguarding your cognitive abilities as you age.

To promote optimal oral health and potentially preserve your mental acuity, consider the following tips:

  • Brush and Floss Regularly: Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine is essential. Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice daily and floss regularly to keep plaque and bacteria at bay.

  • Say No to Smoking: If you're a smoker, consider quitting. Smoking not only poses serious risks to your respiratory and cardiovascular health but is also linked to a higher risk of gum disease.

  • Limit Sugary Drinks: Sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, promoting bacterial growth and decay. Go for water or beverages with minimal sugar content instead.

  • Regular Dental Checkups: Don't underestimate the power of routine dental visits. Seeing your dentist at least once every six months for a checkup and cleaning can help detect and address any potential gum disease issues early, ensuring your oral health is in top shape.

Stay Curious, Stay Healthy

By incorporating these simple habits into your daily routine, you're not only promoting a vibrant smile but also setting the stage for a healthier mind as you journey through life. Remember, you can book your regular checkup with us in less than a minute online!

For a deeper dive into this research, you can read the full article here.

Remember, we provide dental care for patients in Nambour, Bli Bli, Rosemount, Palmwoods, Mapleton, Montville and many others travelling from across the Sunshine Coast and beyond so to learn for yourself about our commitment to individualised care and the dental services we offer, please book online or give the team a call on (07) 541 3583.


The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional dental or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental or medical condition.


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