By Tim Locke
FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
July 31, 2013 -- Poor dental health and gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, a new study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry suggests.
Although past studies have suggested a link between oral health and dementia, this is the first to pinpoint a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain.
Researchers looked at donated brain samples of 10 people without dementia and 10 people with dementia. They found the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of four of those with dementia.
This bacteria may play a role in changes in the brain in Alzheimer's disease, contributing to symptoms including confusion and failing memory.