AP NEWS

Fight Alzheimer’s with Tooth Paste

June 5, 2019

If you want to keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay, don’t forget to brush.

In addition to giving you kissable breath, researchers at the Department of Clinical Science, with Norway’s University of Bergen (UiB), say proper dental care can keep away the dreaded neurological disease.

The scientists determined that gingivitis, the gum disease that comes from lack of brushing and flossing, plays a role in who gets Alzheimer’s, and who doesn’t.

“We discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain,” says researcher Piotr Mydel at UiB’s Broegelmanns Research Laboratory.

The enzymes the bacteria produce break down nerve cells in the brain. This leads to lapses in memory in the short term, and, ultimately, Alzheimer’s. Mydel and his team discovered the presence of these enzymes in 96% of the 53 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s the researchers studied.

“We have managed to develop a drug that blocks the harmful enzymes from the bacteria, postponing the development of Alzheimer’s,” Mydel explained, noting, “We are planning to test this drug later this year.”

But for now?

“Brush your teeth and use floss,” he advises, adding those with a family history of the disease should make it a point to regularly see the dentist, as well.