Researchers looks in possible link between Alzheimer's and tooth decay

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  A University of Bristol researcher is looking into whether or not there is a link between Alzheimer's and tooth decay.

Posted: May 18, 2015

Dr. Deborah Shoemark is a researcher from the University of Bristol and is looking into a possible link between tooth decay and the loss of cognitive function, according to the Bristol Post in the UK. Shoemark is building off of studies conducted in the past but never came to absolutely clear conclusion.

In 2008, the findings of a study from Professor Margaret Gatz and her team at the University of Southern California were released in the scientific journal Alzheimer's and Dementia. During the study, Gatz's team of researchers looked at pairs of identical twins where one twin developed Alzheimer's, while the other did n€‹ot. After conducting research on the pairs, it was found the ones went on to suffer cognitive loss in their later lives were the same ones lost teeth in the early or mid-life ages due to tooth decay.

Dr. Shoemark and her team plan to recruit 15 to 20 Alzheimer's patients to see if their symptoms improve while practicing better oral hygiene. 

"Potentially, our data shows a link between not brushing your teeth and increased risk of developing Alzheimer's," said to the Bristol Post. "We need to show that dental care can improve oral health of these patients - then we can see whether that has an effect on Alzheimer's progression."

If Shoemark's study goes as planned, there could be evidence that good oral hygiene could help prevent the development of dementia and other diseases that target memory and mental stability. If a link is found between better oral hygiene, and a lower number of bacteria in the mouths of test subjects, then they researchers will apply with the National Institute for Health Research to run another trial on a larger pool of test subjects that could reach the hundreds, or even thousands, in total number of participants. 

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