Oral hygiene and diseases of internal organs

Most of us know that poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. However, there are several other diseases that are caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis and Alzheimer’s disease

In 2010, scientists from New York University (NYU) discovered a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.
Comparing the cognitive functions of patients aged 50 to 70 years ago, NYU scientists found that patients with gum disease were more likely to have decreased cognitive function.

In 2013, British scientists from the University of Central Lancaster /UCLAN/, based on this research, studied the brain samples of 10 patients who died of Alzheimer’s disease and compared them with the samples of 10 brain samples from people who had died. of the same age who did not have this disease.

The analysis showed that a specific bacterium – Porphyromonas gingivalis was present in the brain samples of people who died with Alzheimer’s disease, but this microorganism was not present in the brain samples of people who died without a diagnosis of this disease. An interesting fact is that P.gingivalis is usually found in people with chronic gingivitis.
Scientists believe that this motile bacterium is capable of entering the brain from the mouth either through the bloodstream or through nerve pathways.
P.gingivalis is unlikely to be the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but this relationship is very interesting and requires further study.

Periodontitis and pancreatic cancer

A group of scientists from the Hardard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was the first to present convincing evidence of the link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer .

The study authors examined data from a cohort study that began in 1986 of more than 51,000 men and found that a history of gum disease increased the risk of pancreatic cancer by 64% compared to men who never had such a disease.

People who had recently lost teeth had the highest risk of developing pancreatic cancer in this group. However, the data analysis failed to find a link between pancreatic cancer and other types of dental problems such as tooth decay.

Researchers hypothesize that this link exists because of the high concentration of carcinogenic compounds found in the mouths of patients with gum disease. According to them, these compounds, called nitrosamines, can react with digestive chemicals in such a way as to create favorable conditions for the development of pancreatic cancer.

Diseases of the oral cavity and pathologies of the circulatory organs

Probably the best studied and known is the relationship between oral hygiene and cardiovascular diseases.

In 2008, several studies appeared, the results of which proved that bleeding gums due to poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Scientists have found that the risk of heart disease increases due to oral bacteria entering the bloodstream, which increases platelet aggregation, which causes blood to thicken.

This can prevent blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack or acute heart failure.

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