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Good Oral Health May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

August 19, 2019
by Harvard Health Publishing


Gingivitis (gum disease) has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, but a recent study says that the bacteria that cause gingivitis also may be connected to Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published Jan. 23, 2019, in Science Advances.

Scientists have previously found that this species of bacteria, called Porphyromonas gingivalis, can move from the mouth to the brain. Once in the brain, the bacteria release enzymes called gingipains that can destroy nerve cells, which in turn can lead to memory loss and eventually Alzheimer’s.

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