How Can the Health of Your Mouth Impact Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has become one of the most dreaded diagnoses, as there is no cure. While there may not be a cure for those with advanced AD, there is hope for prevention and the stopping of progression in the early stages. The health of the mouth can play a strong role in the prevention and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Our dental team can help by testing the high-risk bacteria in the mouth and recommending ways to reduce the bacteria to improve your health.
In the book, The End of Alzheimer’s, author Dale Bredesen, MD, discusses the role of oral bacteria in AD. He specifically calls out three oral bacteria: Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn), and Prevotella intermedia (Pi). Upon autopsy, these pathogens are being found in the brains of people with AD. Research notes another oral pathogen, Treponema denticola (Td), has also been found in Alzheimer’s brains. The presence of these bacteria is thought to play a part in Type I Alzheimer’s which is based on inflammation. Dental professionals recognize Pg as the main pathogen in chronic periodontitis as well as an association between periodontal disease and dementia conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Therefore, reducing this range of bacteria has the potential to keep patients’ brains healthy, as well as their mouths.
The question then becomes, “How do dental professionals know what pathogens are present in their patient’s oral cavity?” We can test oral bacteria with the Oral DNA MyPerioPath® saliva lab test. The test results indicate the type and quantity of the bacteria mentioned above, plus nine more. Once bacterial levels have been identified, personalized treatment plans for reduction of harmful bacteria can be created and executed. Home care products can be recommended and implemented. Once intervention has been applied, then a repeat MyPerioPath® can confirm if treatment and home care have reduced bacterial loads. In this Test, Don’t Guess approach, dentistry can play a vital part in keeping oral health and cognition in-tact.
Dallas Functional Dentistry
Sarah Tevis Poteet, DDS
Copyright 2020 Sarah Tevis Poteet, DDS, PA