Oral Bacteria Causes Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s?
As absurd and improbable as it sounds, oral bacteria has been linked to occurrence of heart diseases as well as Alzheimer’s time and again. We are all aware of the fact that oral bacteria cause immense damage to the teeth and gums if allowed to proliferate in the oral cavity in an uncontrolled fashion. However, the bacteria can affect other parts of the human body, especially when they are transported through the blood stream and reach unforeseen areas of action.
In the oral cavity, the bacteria grow on a solid substratum which is either the gums or the teeth surface. They adhere to it using a sticky substance secreted by them and create the right pH for bacterial growth. This happens when proper oral hygiene is not maintained in the oral cavity by an individual.
If the bacterium, which is introduced into the blood stream, reaches a place where similar conditions of growth exist, it will begin to proliferate naturally.
Therefore, if it reaches a spot where there is a hard substratum, the right pH and growth factors like sugar, bacteria action will increase and lead to plaque formation and caries in the surrounding tissue.
The Harvard Heart Letter has clearly stated that the fact that oral disease leads to heart failure cannot be directly proven at any point.
But, when we follow the above mentioned logic, we automatically agree with the findings of periodontists wherein, people with heart diseases that resulted from arthrosclerosis or blocked arteries were found to have bacterial plaques by gum disease bacteria. Species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been isolated from such blocked artery growths. They have been cultured and found to grow on any substratum that gives them a chance to grow. Presence of sugar in blood and a blockage in the path of flow provides them place to multiply in this case, leading to blockage of blood flow to the heart causing heart attack.
Again, brain failure can be attributed to various factors, its linkage to oral disease has been substantially proven in studies conducted by the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Here is a comprehensive look at the details of the study released, and at the probabilities of the study results being empirical in nature.
According to the study, 10 brain tissue samples donated by people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and ten brain tissue samples donated by people not suffering from Alzheimer’s disease were studied. The brain tissues were tested for pathological, structural and functional changes.
According to results, it was seen that a periodontal gum disease bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis was present in brain tissue of people who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Following are the main postulates that have been developed owing to these results:
- Periodontal gum infection leads to introduction of gum disease bacteria into the blood at the time of chewing and brushing.
- The bacteria are found to proliferate in any part of the body which has a hard substratum and provides sugar and the right pH in the surrounding environment. In cases of rapid bacteria proliferation, the organ present in the surroundings may undergo failure.
- In places of prior organ failure, like in brain failure, the bacterial growth is not registered by fresh blood flow since there is no fresh blood reaching these organ systems leading to limitless proliferation of the bacteria.
- It is also postulated that when these bacteria reach the brain, they trigger immune responses that release chemicals that kill neurons.
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