Older adults with tooth loss are more likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia. According to researchers, the risk of losing each new tooth increases – standing Static: a journal of long-term and post-acute care medicine In a study published in the journal.
As it turns out that Those with dentures do not have this increased risk This suggests that timely treatment (with implants and dentures) may protect against cognitive decline.
“Our findings highlight the importance of oral health and oral hygiene, And its role in maintaining cognitive functions. said Bai Wu, co-author of the study, and professor of global health at New York University.
Researchers link higher chances of tooth loss and dementia
Dementia affects more than 6 million people in the United States alone, and 11 percent of adults experience some degree of cognitive decline. Significant tooth loss is observed in one in six people over the age of 65.
Missing teeth isn’t just a problem with chewing. They can lead to nutritional deficiencies and promote harmful changes in brain chemistry.
Researchers say there is a link between gum disease as the number one cause of tooth loss and cognitive decline.
However, tooth loss is also associated with other long-term problems. It can generate lifelong social and economic disadvantages that increase an individual’s risk of cognitive decline, including limited access to quality health care.
Wu and her colleagues collected data from a total of 14 studies on tooth loss and cognitive impairment involving 34,074 adults, of whom 4,689 had impairments in cognitive function.
Based on this it turns out that Adults with tooth loss have an approximately 50 percent higher chance of cognitive decline, and saw a nearly 30% higher risk of dementia, Compare it to those who have more teeth.
Researchers found that adults with dentures were 48 percent more likely to develop cognitive impairment if they did not have dentures, compared to those who did.
A higher number of missing teeth was associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, Each extra tooth missing increased the risk of cognitive impairment by 1.4 percent — plus a 1.1 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with dementia.
The discoveries . said Xiang Zhi, co-author of the study and a doctoral candidate at New York University, in a press release Significantly enhances the evidence linking tooth loss to cognitive impairment, They also provide evidence that tooth loss may predict cognitive decline.