A study released on January 23 in Science Advances suggested that there is some sort of correlation between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. This inspired a large number of stories, and many of those stories might have even forced people into a healthier oral hygiene routine.
The study claimed that there is a connection between a specific gum bacterium and Alzheimer’s disease. It stated that a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis was found in several people that died while suffering from the degenerative brain disease.
Some headlines even suggested that the cause of Alzheimer’s disease has finally been found. A biotech company based in San Francisco paid and participated in the study that claimed a certain enzyme that comes from P. gingivalis interacted in a certain way with some essential proteins of Alzheimer’s called amyloid-bet and amyloid-tau. Researchers found that a drug that blocks gingipains seemed to reduce the amount of amyloid-beta in studies done with mice. These findings offered “clear” evidence that P.gingivalis and gingipains had a central role in the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease. The results of the study went hand in hand with the idea that bacterium, viruses, and even some fungi had a role in sparking the disease in humans.
The truth is that there is still no clear indication as to what exactly causes Alzheimer’s. Much more testing needs to be conducted for this theory to gain any sort of credibility. The study itself had been a small study with no way to determine whether the results are valid or not.
While it might be true that bacterium or a virus might trigger Alzheimer’s, there is still no way to be sure. This is because one of the biggest pools of bacteria is found in the mouth. So, flossing is definitely a good idea if nothing else than to avoid having bad breath.