Oral bacteria could cause Alzheimer's
You don't need an expensive MRI for a glimpse of dementia's earliest warning signs.
All you need is some dental floss.
Run it through your teeth, and if it comes out the same color as it did when it went in, congratulations.
You've got healthy gums... and possibly a healthy brain.
But if they come out looking as bloody as a Civil War bandage, then you could have both gum disease AND one of the earliest warning signs of dementia -- because new research finds the same bacteria that'll rot your mouth out might do the same to your brain.
In the study, researchers peeked into the brains of 20 people -- 10 with Alzheimer's, and 10 without. While none of the dementia-free patients had gum bacteria in the brain, 4 of the 10 who had the disease also had the bacteria living upstairs.
Now, I can't file a study of just 20 people under "rock-solid proof" so let's just file this under "interesting" for now. But at the same time, don't dismiss it -- because a dirty, bloody mouth is an open invitation for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and take a joyride through your body.
And since we already know these nasty oral germs can cause inflammation, and are a risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find they could also wreck the brain.
So do your best to keep 'em out -- and the best way to do that is to take care of your mouth the Douglass way: Mix a little baking soda with some 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, work them into the teeth and gums, and then rinse with some of the peroxide.
Be sure to spit the peroxide out, and don't forget to floss. You'll have the most kissable kisser in town.