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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 26, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Scientists may have finally uncovered the secrets of Alzheimer's. In a stunning new study, researchers have linked the onset of Alzheimer's disease to the bacterium that causes gum disease. San Francisco dentist, Dr. Ben Amini, comments on the study linking gum disease and Alzheimer's.
"The research, which was published in several scientific journals and publications, examines Porphyromonas gingivalis, an anaerobic bacterium that triggers the onset of gum disease. Researchers found that P. gingivalis caused mice brains to produce larger amounts of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is a toxic protein that prevents brain cells from communicating with one another effectively, triggering the onset of cognitive decline," says Dr. Ben Amini, an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Dentistry.
Nearly 10 percent of American adults under the age of 64 have periodontitis, a form of gum disease that is characterized by red, bleeding gums, which form pockets as they pull away from teeth. Gum disease has previously been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but this recent research has revealed that it could also increase the presence of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease in the brain.
"There needs to be more research in the area of gum disease and its correlation with heart disease, stroke, premature birth, and now Alzheimer's disease. The mouth is the gate to the rest of the body and many types of diseases that have debilitating effects on our health show a strong correlation with gum disease," says Dr. Ben Amini.
Gum disease is largely preventable with good dental hygiene, healthy lifestyle habits and regular dental care. Dr. Ardavan Fateh, a periodontist at CitiDent with Harvard credentials recommends biannual cleanings and checkups for patients at normal risk, but patients who are at high risk of gum disease or problems associated with gum disease may benefit from more frequent checkups.
Symptoms of gum disease often include:
• Swollen or puffy-looking gums
• Redness and inflammation
• Gums that bleed easily
• Gums that appear to pull away from teeth or teeth that seem to be getting longer
• A change in bite or spaces forming between teeth
• Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
Those with symptoms of gum disease should be evaluated promptly. Dr. Fateh and Dr. Amini may recommend a special procedure called a scaling and root planing to treat the periodontal pocket, containing infection-causing bacteria. Other treatments are also available, including gum grafts, bone grafts, laser treatment or crown lengthening and dental implants to replace teeth lost to gum disease.
About Dr. Ben Amini
Dr. Amini is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF School of Dentistry, from where he also received his dental degree. He holds many dental certifications in cosmetic, Implant and laser dentistry, and has achieved a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of Osseointegration.
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