A large longitudinal study has found a strong correlation between periodontal disease and risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. This study compared 9,291 patients with periodontitis and 18, 672 control patients without gum disease over 16 years. The results were published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.
The study found that chronic periodontal disease gives people 70% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In addition to increasing the risk of dementia, the same study reported increased risk of depression and high cholesterol in people with chronic gum disease. This study established a link but not a causal relationship. Further studies are needed to establish a link that the treatment of chronic gum disease will lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. “It could be that people with impaired cognitive function are less likely to take care of themselves, and so are more likely to develop gum disease”, states Mark Ide, periodontist at King’s College of London.
Chen, et al. Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy. 2017