From Dentalblogs.com: We know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults. It also causes an increased risk for health problems, from heart attack and stroke to diabetes complications and low-weight births. But new evidence shows that periodotnal disease can impair mental function, outside of the established connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia. The newfound link may stem from inflammation in the body that originates in the mouth.
The study, led by Dr. James Noble, involved 2,350 subjects of various genders who were tested for periodontal disease, then underwent a series of mental skills assessments. Adults over 60 with a high level of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogen that causes gum disease, were three times more likely to forget a three-word sequence after a time lapse. The higher the pathogen level, the greater the potential for forgetting the sequence.
Published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, this US study by Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York relates periodontal disease to cognitive dysfunction. More research is necessary to support the findings. Read the Reuters press release here.