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  • 2019-07-20
    Gum diseases and overall health

    The previous blog suggests that this is only the beginning of a long struggle to prevent, slow down and ultimately cure the various identified types of Alzheimer’s diseases.

    Since over 25 years, my personal experience has shown that the impact between gum diseases and overall health is undeniable. We will discuss about it here.

    By microscoping the bacterial flora collected between the gum and the teeth on patients with gingival (periodontal) diseases, we observed different levels of activity in this flora, including some bacteria that are closely related to the presence of p. gingivalis. Following periodontal treatments with these patients, we found a significant decrease in these bacteria and their activities.

    The accumulation of food and bacteria that adhere to the teeth forms an acidic biofilm (dental plaque) which, by promoting the formation of tartar, will cause irritation, inflammation and bleeding of the gums. Gradually these will detach from the teeth, forming gingival pockets.

    Like other periodontal bacteria, p. gingivalis are anaerobic bacteria that live in absence of oxygen, at the bottom of gingival pockets. This is where the condition will be favorable for them to grow and to reproduce.

    The only way for the p. gingivalis to penetrate the bloodstream and reach the brain are fragile, weakened, bleeding and permeable gums found in periodontitis (gum disease).

    What are the factors that predispose to periodontitis?

    – Presence of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth

    – Poor oral hygiene (presence of plaque and tartar)

    – Weakened immune system: genetics, systemic diseases (such as diabetes), some immunosuppressive medications, smoking, prolonged periods of stress and anxiety,

    – Other factors that can affect immune system: malnutrition, poor sleep quality and physical inactivity

    How to prevent the transition of p. gingivalis from the gums to the brain?

    1- Reduce inflammation and gum permeability

    2- Reduce the number of bacteria living in gingival pockets

    Here is what we have been advocating for more than twenty years to drastically reduce the presence of anaerobic bacteria and their harmful effects on the gums:

    Concerning dental hygiene, the intervals for scaling and cleaning are determined depending of the condition of the gums, generally every 6 months, and in cases of periodontitis, every 3 months.

    At home, daily brushings combined with everyday use of interdental brushes and flossing are mandatory to keep the gums healthy.

    For patients with higher risk factors for periodontal disease additional care will be prescribed:

    Mons Paste, Periogel (PerioProtect), at home

    We recommend the use of Mons Paste or Periogel, because they release oxygen that will reduce bad anaerobic bacteria and promote the proliferation of good bacteria.

    Commercial mouthwash (as Listerine, Cepacol etc.) is not very effective to eliminate these bacteria.

    For patients already suffering from periodontal disease, in addition to preventive home care, curative care at dental office will be required.  We proceed with curettage, surfacing and laser treatment such as Périowave, which specifically targets anaerobic bacteria including p. gingivalis.

    Although the transmissibility of p. gingivalis is possible, however, in 25% of cases it will be transient bacteria that will be quickly eliminated. However, with people having a weakened immune systems or inadequate oral hygiene, periodontal disease will slowly evolve, increasing the risk of systemic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.

    The latest scientific research shows, more than ever, that a healthy mouth is essential to the quest of global health. Let’s not forget that the mouth is the main pathway whereby bacteria enter the body. Therefore, it is essential to keep it healthy in order to maintain a better global health.