Brush your teeth and avoid Alzheimer’s disease

A study from the University of Bergen discovered a clear connection between gum diseases and Alzheimer's 

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Leer en español: Cepilla tus dientes y evita el Alzheimer

Norwegian researchers made a shocking discovery: suffering from gingivitis plays a decisive role in whether a person develops Alzheimer's or not. Piotr Mydel, the study's researcher, said that "we discovered a DNA-based test that the bacteria that cause gingivitis can pass from the mouth to the brain."

According to the research, the bacteria that cause gingivitis to produce a protein that destroys nerve cells in the brain. This produces memory loss and, in the long term, it would produce Alzheimer's. This means that the oral hygiene level of the person not only affects their teeth but also puts their mental health at risk.

It is important to clarify that gingivitis alone does not produce Alzheimer's, because there are other factors that lead to the development of this disease. The bacteria that cause this dental disease significantly increase the risk of developing this disease and speed up the progression.

The study examined 53 people with Alzheimer's and in 96% of the cases identified the enzyme that produces this bacteria in patients. The results would provide a new approach to combat and prevent this disease.

What I can do?

The study offers some preventive measures that you can take into account to avoid gingivitis and, in the long term, Alzheimer's:

  • Brush your teeth: after eating, brush your teeth and do it at least after every big meal like breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Use dental floss: brushing your teeth is not enough to remove food residue between your teeth. This is why it is very important that you use dental floss or water flosser to keep your teeth clean.
  • There is a history of Alzheimer's: if in your family there are people who have suffered from this disease, you should visit the dentist constantly and perform cleanings. In addition, you should consult a neurologist and a psychiatrist.
  • In addition to these recommendations that the research of the University of Bergen delivers, you can prevent gingivitis by going periodically to the dentist, at least you should do it once a year. This way you can determine in time if you suffer from any dental disease and be able to access the corresponding treatment.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: the consumption of foods high in sugar and smoking are habits that affect health in general. Consume healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and consult a nutritionist to guide you.
  • Do not self-medicate: when you feel discomfort in your mouth go to a professional and avoid prescribing medicines.

Read also: WHO recognizes 'burnout' as a disease

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's?

The Mayo Clinic explains that there are 9 initial symptoms that will allow the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. If you present several of these signs, see your general practitioner:

1. Impairment of memory: it is hard for you to remember simple information such as events

2. Difficulty concentrating and struggling to solve problems

3. You cannot perform your daily tasks at work or at home

4. You get confused with the passage of time and the places where you are

5 It is difficult for you to understand concepts such as space in activities such as managing

6. When you want to talk or write you can not find the words to communicate

7. Avoid attending work or social events

8. Your behavior changes and your moods change

9. Your decision-making criteria are affected

Good news

Mydel says that "we have managed to develop a drug that blocks the harmful enzymes of bacteria, postponing the development of Alzheimer's disease, and we are planning to try this medication later this year."


LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza

Translated from "Cepilla tus dientes y evita el Alzheimer"

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