Researchers examined samples from the brains of patients with and without dementia and found lipopolysaccharide, a component of Porphyromonas gingivalis, an oral bacterium, in four out of 10 Alzheimer’s disease brain samples.
“This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease, but not causal association,” says LakshmyyaKesavalu, associate professor of periodontology at the University of Florida says.
Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream during chewing, brushing and flossing, and during dental procedures. The bacteria can enter through the bloodstream to the brain and can potentially lead to degeneration in brain tissue that appears similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers say the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, is the first to show a link between the existence of the oral bacterium component lipopolysaccharide and Alzheimer’s disease.