Patient's over 70 with untreated gum disease 70% more at risk to develop Alzheimer's

A new study from Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung City has determined that people who have had periodontitis for more than 10 years are 70% more likely than people without periodontitis to develop Alzheimer’s disease. 

Inflammation, Periodontitis and the Development of Alzheimer’s

Periodontitis is chronic gum inflammation, a leading cause of tooth loss. Previous studies have associated it with an increase in markers of inflammation throughout the body. Recently, studies have linked gum disease to a decline in cognitive ability.

The Chung Shan Medical University team used data provided by Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database to determine if there was a link between people over the age of 50 with chronic periodontitis and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

While they found no overall link, they did find that people with gum diesease who were over the age of 70 and had been living with it for a decade or more, were 70% more likely than people without periodontitis to develop Alzheimer’s.

The study accounted for other factors that may influence the risk of Alzheimer’s, including the environment, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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