People who neglect oral hygiene are more at risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, scientists from the University of New York noted.
The pathogenic microflora of the gums may be associated with high levels of beta-amyloid protein, abnormal accumulations of which are considered dangerous for neurons.
American scientists conducted an experiment involving 48 elderly people without obvious signs of cognitive impairment. Scientists examined the microflora of periodontal pockets (the ratio of harmful to beneficial bacteria, known as the dysbiotic index) and compared the results with data on the presence of amyloid protein and neurofibrillary accumulations in cerebrospinal fluid.
As it turned out, an increased dysbiotic index (the prevalence of pathogenic microbes, including Treponema, Porphyromonas, Tannerella, over healthy microflora, including Rothia, Corynebacterium) was linked to an increase in the level of beta-amyloid protein (Aβ + group). If a high concentration of dangerous proteins was found in the samples, the risk of an increased dysbiotic index increased by four times.
Experts believe that oral pathogens can enter the central nervous system and have a direct pathological effect on the brain. They also cause general inflammation, which eventually spreads to the brain.