Posted on 1/6/2020 by Dr. Cheryl Freeman
|According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Ultra Wellness Center at The Cleveland Clinic:
We’ve spent billions of dollars on hundreds of Alzheimer’s studies with nothing to show for it. That’s because we were headed in the wrong direction.
Now, we know that the brain is bi-directional with the rest of the body and that things like sleep, diet, our social lives, our microbiome, and so much more are related to the onset, severity, and even reversal of neurodegenerative diseases. Oral bacteria is one of those things that we have discovered may impact Alzheimer’s specifically Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria present in the most serious form of gum disease. Researchers found this bacteria can travel from the mouth to the brain, creating toxins called gingipains that cause damage to human proteins and destroy brain calls and nerves, and is more common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s than those without. Porphyromonas gingivalis is actually present in many people but, like other types of bacteria, it becomes a problem when it overgrows. This is how periodontitis happens, with inflamed, eroding, bleeding gums, and just chewing can spread it into the bloodstream.
But here is the good news-good oral hygiene can help. Simply brushing and flossing regularly and keeping up with dentist appointments can have major implications for your brain, If you have a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s you’re going to want to be extra savvy about your dental health. Same goes for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Since Porphyromonas gingivalis may also play a role in the progression of the disease as well.
And this is just one type of bacteria! There are thousands upon thousands of species present in the human body, impacting all areas of it. For example, gut bacteria can influence neurotransmitter activity and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s clear we have a lot to learn about the role of bacteria in chronic disease, but that also opens up the door for many exciting new modalities for preventing and healing those same diseases.
If you’re interested in this topic, tune in to my latest episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, where I sit down with my friend and colleague from The UltraWellness Center, Dr. Todd LePine.
We talk about the role of bacteria in treating neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases and he shares some really powerful patient success stories: One man said he finally got his wife back after she followed Dr. LePine’s Alzheimer’s protocol for just three months (which included cleaning up her oral bacteria).
I always want people to feel empowered, not overwhelmed, when it comes to the future of their health. I hope this information helps you take positive action by starting with your dental health today.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD