Navigation Links
School of Dentistry Studies Link Between Oral Health and Memory

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keeping your teeth brushed and flossed can cut down on gum disease, drastically reducing risk of heart attack and stroke, dentists have warned for years. Now researchers at West Virginia University have found a clean mouth may also help preserve memory.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $1.3 million grant over four years to further build on studies linking gum disease and mild to moderate memory loss.

"Older people might want to know there's more reason to keep their mouths clean -- to brush and floss -- than ever," said Richard Crout, D.M.D., Ph.D., an expert on gum disease and associate dean for research in the WVU School of Dentistry. "You'll not only be more likely to keep your teeth, but you'll also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss."

Crout will share the grant with gerontologist Bei Wu, Ph.D., formerly of WVU and now a researcher at the University of North Carolina; Brenda L. Plassman, Ph.D., of Duke University, a nationally recognized scientist in the field of memory research; and Jersey Liang, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Michigan. Wu is the principal investigator.

The team will look at health records over many years of several thousand Americans.

"This could have great implications for health of our aging populations," Crout said. "With rates of Alzheimer's skyrocketing, imagine the benefits of knowing that keeping the mouth free of infection could cut down on cases of dementia."

The research builds on an ongoing study of West Virginians aged 70 and older. Working with the WVU School of Medicine, School of Dentistry researchers have given oral exams and memory tests to 270 elderly people in more than a dozen West Virginia counties.

Funded by a $419,000 two-year grant, they've discovered that about 23 percent of the group suffers from mild to moderate memory loss.

A blood draw is also part of the study for research subjects who agree.

"If you have a gum infection, you'll have an increased level of inflammatory byproducts," Crout explained. "We're looking for markers in the blood that show inflammation to see if there is a link to memory problems. We'd like to go full circle and do an intervention -- to clean up some of the problems in the mouth and then see if the inflammatory markers go down."

Researchers don't yet understand whether microorganisms in the mouth create health problems or whether the body's inflammatory response is to blame. It may be a combination of both. Researchers also don't know much about mild to moderate memory loss, even though the connection between severe dementia and gum disease is well-known, Crout said.

In the future, dentists may routinely administer memory tests to their older patients, he said.

"A dentist may see a longtime, older patient with an area of the mouth that's showing signs of inflammation because of not being properly cleaned daily," Crout said. "Many times we as clinicians, however, don't think of this as due to a memory problem. The patient may not be flossing or brushing properly as we have instructed they should. But this research indicates that the problem may be due to memory loss as opposed to noncompliance."

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics Successfully Completes Evaluation of AutoGenomics 2C9-VKORC1 Panel to Assess Warfarin Sensitivity
2. You May Have a Thyroid Problem and Not Know It - Particularly If Youre Over 60, Says a New Harvard Medical School Report
3. Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics Successfully Completes Evaluation of AutoGenomics 2C9-VKORC1 Panel to Assess Warfarin Sensitivity
4. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Study Shows Significant Differences in English- and Spanish-speakers Use of Oncology Websites
5. Cantel Medical Corp.s Crosstex Subsidiary Addresses School MRSA Concerns With SaniTyze(TM) Brand Hand Sanitizer and Sanitex(R) Surface Disinfecting Line of Products
6. An Open Letter to Parents, Students, School Administrators, & Health Care Officials from Soapopular(R)
7. Tampax and Always Launch Protecting Futures Program Dedicated to Helping African Girls Stay in School
8. YouthAIDS, Levis and BETs Rap It-Up Campaign Kick Off 2007 Kick Me Campaign to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness at High Schools, Colleges and Universities Across the Country
9. Novel PCT Method Unveiled by Pressure BioSciences, Inc. and Collaborators at the Harvard School of Public Health
10. CellCyte Genetics Signs Collaborative Agreement With Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine to Perform Disease Model Outcome Study of CellCytes CCG-TH30 Product Candidate
11. Study Findings Show Infection Control Intervention Helps Keep Kids in School
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), a ... now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, thanks ... Inc. Patients are no longer limited to having ... PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty ... Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):