The idea of having gum disease is never a pleasant thought; however, research is now showing that gum problems may be linked to even more serious conditions than simply tooth loss and oral issues. According to new studies, it now appears that the bacteria that cause gum disease can also play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and certain types of pneumonia. Want to learn more about the connection and find out how you can take some proactive steps to prevent these diseases later in life? See below!

How Does Gum Disease Travel?

During the study, researchers discovered that it is possible for gum disease bacteria to travel away from the mouth and toward the brain or other parts of the body. The result is tragic with the bacteria toxins going on to potentially form Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and aspiration pneumonia.

Researchers not only used rats to prove that the bacteria can travel, but also compared samples of brain matter from those who are deceased. They found that those who died with Alzheimer’s disease had more of the P. gingivalis bacteria in their brain matter than those who did not have the disease.

Who Can Be Affected By Gum Disease?

Gum problems are not limited to only a select few people. About one in five people under thirty-years-old contain P. gingivalis in their mouths. While small amounts of bacteria cause fewer problems, when they are left to grow, the results can be serious with developing gum disorders along with other diseases. It is vital that you take care of their teeth and do everything within their power to maintain good oral hygiene.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

Jan Potempa, PhD, DSc and a professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry points toward good oral care as the best way to fight against these scary research revelations. She added that individuals who are at risk for rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease should be extra concerned about good oral hygiene and preventing gum disease.