There have been many studies linking oral health issues to health issues in other parts of the body. For example, a number of studies have shown a direct link between oral health and cardiovascular disease. A recent study at the University of Southampton and King’s College London examined a possible link between periodontitis and rates of decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Though the sample group was relatively small, there was a clear connection between the presence of periodontitis and a greater progression in cognitive decline amongst people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, researchers took blood samples from 59 patients. Unbeknownst to their cognitive condition, a hygienist assessed each patient. In 6 months, the patients were reassessed and researchers discovered a 6-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline for those patients with periodontitis.
Because the results were so startling, researchers said that the study should be conducted on a larger scale for further analysis.
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