Update: More new information on Alzheimer’s disease and oral bacteria
I recently wrote about new information regarding bacteria and its association with Alzheimer’s disease.
Now a new paper has been published from the University of Louisville, where researchers report the discovery of Porphyromonas gingivalis (PG) – one of the main pathogens behind chronic periodontal disease(aka gum disease) – in the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients.
This, in addition to what I recently reported about spirochetes in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, is another clue that Alzheimer’s is caused by infections. These bacteria enter the body through infection in the mouth. The dangerous thing is that until gum disease is approaching the severe levels, there are very few symptoms that one may notice. Bleeding gums, when brushing or flossing is usually the first symptom. I see people all the time who don’t really know the extent of their periodontal problems, or even know they have the disease. We do know that 50% of adults have some level of periodontal disease. As we age this percentage increases to over 70%.
One positive thing is that we have simple tests that can determine the presence of PG bacteria in someone's mouth, so we can use this to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Unfortunately, there is no test to determine if someone has spirochetes present.
My advice: see a dentist who can identify periodontal disease, treat it and help one get back to great oral health, so they can lower their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Hackbarth earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1976 from the University of Texas Dental School at Houston. Since that time, he has dedicated himself to lifelong learning and continuing dental education. Among his activities:
Dr. Hackbarth spends extended time traveling and teaching his peers. Recently, he has invested time in teaching his peers form across the country how to implement new strategies with removable aligners and other cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Hackbarth and wife JoAnn are both Texas natives, each having ancestors that date back to the days of the Texas Republic. While they enjoy traveling, they are proud to call Texas home. Dr. Hackbarth enjoys spending time with his wife and family, whether it be traveling, shopping, working in the yard, and walking or biking through the parks of Texas City. He is also a gourmet chef who loves to create new dishes. (Ask him about his jalapeno creme sauce on fresh red fish.....delicious!)
Dr. Hackbarth’s wife, JoAnn, works in the dental office with bookkeeping, staff relations, and customer relations. Patients rave about the personal touch she has added to the office decor. In her spare time, JoAnn enjoys decorating at home and at the dental office. She is a former educator and was on the local school board for six years.