Jul 312013
Alzheimer's disease linked to dental hygiene

Lack of proper dental hygiene may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Photo by Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

There are an infinite number of studies on Alzheimer’s disease conducted by top-notched researchers that give us valuable information. Most of these studies published increase our knowledge on important issues while some are … well, some are questionable.

Take for example the new study published with the breaking news that Alzheimer’s disease may be a result of poor dental hygiene.

Bad dental hygiene linked to Alzheimer’s

In the findings, it stated the bacteria that causes gum disease called Porphyromonas gingivalis was present in deceased individuals with dementia. The researchers ascertained the bacteria broke the blood brain barrier via the bloodstream and may have been a factor in causing Alzheimer’s disease.

It is honorable to research possible factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease as this affects many lives. It is a devastating illness not only to the victims but also the family members. The need to find preventive measures, treatment plans and possible cures would greatly benefit our society, but some common sense in research would be appreciated.

While I’m not an expert in any sense, nor am I a neurosurgeon and just a plain commoner, I immediately realized one major variable omitted in the study. People with dementia often forget things, therefore may have years of forgetting to brush their teeth and maintain proper dental hygiene on a daily basis. Could this be the reason for the presense of bacteria in the brain?

This (minor) observation may have confounded the study.

My skepticism got the best of me so I wondered who funded this particular study, and why. My suspicions were verified when I read it came from a ‘school of medicine and dentistry.’

There you have it! A dentist school found a link between poor dental hygiene and Alzheimer’s disease!

Now since I am just a commoner, I could be missing something here. In my rationale, the mere suggestion that not brushing your teeth could be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease is akin to telling me bed sores could cause inactivity. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

There may be a valid association in the present study but for me to give this possible culprit serious thought, I would want relevant research. Give me something that makes sense.