A study was done using wild type mice to determine the effects of periodontal bacteria on brain tissue and health. 10 mice were given bacteria to their mouths daily for 22 weeks to establish chronic periodontitis and 10 mice were used as the control group. After analyzing the results, Dr. Keiko Watanabe, professor of periodontics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, determined that “mice that were given the bacteria had more brain inflammation, fewer neurons from degeneration, and accumulated more amyloid beta, which is a plaque that is found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s” (Watanabe). The DNA from the bacteria given to the mice as also found in their brain tissue and inside their neurons. This data suggests that there is a “flow of bacteria from the mouth to the brain and that chronic effects leads to neural effects related to Alzheimer’s” (Watanabe).
This study is extremely important because it could be a possible indicator of if a patient will develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime or not. It also could prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s by informing them of the danger that periodontal bacteria can have on their brains. Not having healthy dental hygiene can cause more than just a root canal or a tooth falling out but also can cause a horrible irreversible disease. There should be further studies done involving this bacteria and its effects to help find the cause and maybe even a cure or at least a medicine that can help prevent or slow down its effects.