Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Q: Does gum disease cause Alzheimer's disease?

View of people's knees and hands, one older person and one younger person

A: Scientists say the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s Disease is significant, but it’s not clear yet why the conditions are linked. Although research on how oral health affects overall body health is in development, it’s safe to say if you don’t take care of your teeth, there may be consequences on your overall health.

According to a study done by Science Advances, a bacteria called Pg that leads to chronic periodontitis was also in the majority of patients with Alzheimer's Disease. The bacteria enter the bloodstream through eating and chewing, travelling from the mouth to the brain.

Another study conducted in Taiwan showed people who have had periodontitis for more than 10 years were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Other research showed the bacteria Pg exists in 25% of patients who do not have gum disease.

Although studies do support a correlation between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's Disease, additional research is needed to confirm the link.

Your dental health is important to us. Make sure you and your loved ones are brushing twice a day, flossing every night, and visit your dentist bi-annually. Having healthy teeth and gums lowers your risk of complications and infections, thereby benefiting your overall health. Visit either of our Winnipeg dental clinic locations (St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre) to schedule an appointment so we can help you take care of your teeth and gums.