Bugs in your mouth can move to your brain and increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
Bacteria which inflame your gums are not the cause of Alzheimer’s but can increase the risk or the rapid progression of the disease.
Scientists have “discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis (gum disease) can move from the mouth to the brain”.
The bugs produce a protein that destroys the nerve cells in the brain which in turn can lead to memory loss and ultimately Alzheimers.
The good news is that you can take action to avert this progression by simply cleaning your teeth properly and regular visits to the dentist.
The study, by Piotr Mydel at the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, is also looking at a drug to block harmful enzymes from mouth bacteria which are one of the main causes of gum infection.
About 50pc of the population have the bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis) which can cause chronic infection of the gums.
About one in 10 people with the bacteria will develop serious gum disease, loose teeth and also increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Mydel and his colleagues examined 53 people with Alzheimer’s and found the enzyme in 96pc of cases.