The Link Between Gum Health and Cognition

Gum disease linked to speed of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) In a new study, gum disease was linked to faster cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Although which condition was responsible for the other wasn't clear, this study, published recently in PLOS One, suggests gum health is important for several health reasons.

In this study, by researchers from the University of Southampton and King's College London, 52 patients with Alzheimer's were assessed at the study's start and again six months later. Those who had gum disease at the start cognitively declined roughly six times faster than those who did not have gum disease.

Gum disease can increase inflammation, which could speed cognitive decline, these researchers noted. But patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia may also become unable to clean their teeth.

The Dunhill Medical Trust funded this research. Some study authors received funds from the Dunhill Medical Trust, Oral and Dental Research Trust, Colgate Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline.

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Review Date: 
March 13, 2016
Last Updated:
March 17, 2016