Tooth Loss Linked to Memory Loss?
The group of people who are most likely to have tooth loss and therefore wear dentures are older adults. This same group of people are also more likely to have some type of memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease than a younger group.
Some wonder: Is there a link between tooth loss and memory loss?
Yes, says a recent and very interesting research study: there may be a connection between the loss of teeth and loss of cognitive function, or memory loss.
According to the study by the International and American Associations for Dental Research, people who have fewer than 20 teeth are at a 20 percent higher risk of “developing cognitive decline” than people who have 20 teeth or more. Cognitive decline or impairment means some form of memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. The study says that much more research is needed to prove this link between tooth loss and memory loss and other loss of cognitive function. Of course, there is no guarantee that keeping all your teeth will mean you will avoid any memory problems, or that tooth loss will mean you will get Alzheimer’s.
But even the possibility of a link – no matter how strong or weak the link might be – should make us pause and consider what we can do to prevent this potential risk.
Taking care of your teeth while young and into adulthood is very important!
In order to have the best chance to keep all your teeth – and prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease in the process! – you should brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once every day.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to rinse your teeth of all the sugars that are in the food and drink you consume.
When possible, avoid sugary drinks and sticky foods that easily get stuck in your teeth to minimize the contact your teeth have with sugar, which creates harmful acid that erode your tooth enamel.
With these simple steps that only take a few minutes a day, you can help ensure you’re doing everything you can to prevent cavities, and tooth loss. Your smile will thank you!