Alzheimer’s Breakthrough: Schedule your dental check-up now!

How good are you about brushing and flossing your teeth every day? Do you regularly see your dentist for check-ups? Well researchers think they have found yet another reason why you should be doing so.

Did you know that dementia has grown to be the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide? Researchers now believe that Alzheimer’s may be caused by Porphyromonas gingivilis – in layman terms, gum disease! The good news is that a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis is getting ready to enter clinical trials later this year. Published research shows that the drug may stop or even reverse Alzheimer’s.

close up of smile with white teeth

Alzheimer’s may be caused by gum disease 

Researchers have found that the bacteria associated with gum disease has been found after death in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, but until now, it hasn’t been clear if the bacteria actually caused the disease or if it entered via brain damaged caused by the condition. The bacteria in P. gingivalis seems to invade and inflame areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s.

A research team also found bacteria in the spinal fluid of living people with Alzheimers, suggesting that this may be a way for doctors to diagnose the disease.

In a recent study, it was reported that some toxic enzymes – called gingipains, is what P. gingivalis feeds on in Alzheimer’s patients brains. A clinical state pharmaceutical company, Cortexyme, stated in a report last October, that they have developed gingipain blockers that have passed initial safety tests. Early testing shows it helps participants with Alzheimer’s.

A team in Melbourne is currently working on a vaccine for P. gingivalis. Not only could this benefit patients with gum disease, but also potentially stop Alzheimer’s disease.

So what can you do in the meantime to potentially ward off Alzheimer’s?  Brush and floss daily, and more importantly, get your dental check-up every six months. Statistics show that if a person has dental insurance, they are more likely to schedule regular check-ups.

If your company doesn’t currently have dental insurance and is interested in offering it to employees, give Blue Chip Benefits a call and we can assist. Find us at

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