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Undiagnosed periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • It has recently been reported in the Independent that periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can be linked to Alzheimer’s.

    By Katie Parr

Scientists have discovered that the bacteria caused by poor oral hygiene can destroy nerve cells once they reach the brain. The destruction of the nerve cells can cause confusion and memory loss which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

However, others believe that the bacteria could be a consequence of Alzheimer’s rather than a cause and doubt whether poor dental hygiene can lead to dementia in healthy people.


This is not the first time that periodontal disease has been linked with a major health problem. Periodontal disease has also been said to be connected with the increased risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.


Some symptoms or signs of gum disease:

red and swollen gums
bleeding gums when brushing teeth or after eating
bad breath
metallic taste in mouth
wobbly teeth

This is not an extensive list and you must speak with your dentist if you have any concerns in relation to undiagnosed periodontal disease or undiagnosed periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.

Periodontal disease is a destructive condition and therefore it is important that it is diagnosed and treated early to prevent complications caused by undiagnosed gum disease. Once periodontal disease develops, many people suffer tooth loss and undergo extensive procedures to restore their teeth which can be extremely costly.  In addition, given the potential links between periodontal disease and some serious health conditions, it is vital that dentists carefully check the signs of the disease developing so it can be treated at an early stage.


As specialist dental negligence solicitors we unfortunately see many clients who are suffering from untreated and undiagnosed periodontal disease. Your dentist should be carrying out regular checks to assess the health of your gums and acting if there signs of periodontal disease.

Members of the Dental negligence team have recently recovered £65,000 for a patient whose dentist failed to diagnose and therefore treat periodontal disease and our client suffered the loss of teeth as a result. This is just one example of many cases we see where the client suffered avoidable tooth loss as a result of the dentist’s negligence.

If you think you may be suffering from gum disease and are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, it is important you discuss this with your dentist. If you think your dentist has failed to diagnose your gum disease, it is important that you seek the advice of a specialist dental negligence solicitor to advise you and ensure your treatment is fully investigated  and you are compensated for any injury suffered as a result of negligent dental treatment.

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