Aging is linked to many symptoms, and losing teeth is one of those. As we age, our dental health goes worse and worse, and eventually most of aging people lose their teeth, or suffer from other serious dental problems. Certainly, dental health of aging people differs, and most of people lose only some of their teeth by the age of 55-60. In any way, the scientists are convinced that there are strong links between losing teeth and having problems with brain function: in particular, suffering from memory impairment. Those are the findings of a recent study published by the expert from an international research group. The scientists the Institute of Clinical Dentistry in Tromsx, Norway, and from Umea University and Stockholm University in Sweden looked closer at possible connections between the number of teeth and memory function of a group of the participants.
The researchers invited for their study 275 participants, both male and female, aged between 55 and 80. After examining the current dental health condition of the participants, the scientists found out that all of them had at least 10 and at most 22 teeth less than 32, the normal amount of teeth in a healthy human mouth. At that, as it is reported, about 70 per cent of the lost teeth were molars. Then, participants were offered a series of memory tests. ‘In line with the stated hypothesis, the number of natural teeth was positively associated with performance on episodic memory, recall as well as recognition,’ it is stated in the report about the study which recently appeared in the online issue of the European Journal of Oral Sciences. Therefore, the first thing which became apparent to the scientists is that losing teeth is directly linked to memory impairment since those participants who had less teeth performed poorer in memory tests compared to those participants who had more of natural teeth.
Further analysis and processing the information have shown that the number of natural teeth preserved in the mouth of an aging person count for about 20 per cent of the variance in such concept as episodic recall of the events, for as much as 15 per cent in the variance of episodic recognition, and finally about the same share of the variance in semantic memory. It is interesting that after analyzing some additional materials, the scientists came up with the conclusion that replacing missing teeth with tooth implants can help reduce brain function damage and prevent memory impairment. Further studies allowed the researchers to formulate the hypothesis that losing teeth is linked to serious changes in the daily diet of aging people. As a result, considerably less amount of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients can be found in their body systems and organs. Possibly, this very phenomena should play a role of trigger for memory impairment, increased risks for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia like brain disorders.
Actually, it is underlined that the reported research is not the first one which found strict links and connections between poor dental health and increased risks of poor brain function or memory impairment. In particular, there is very strong evidence that poor dental health in the elderly, and especially suffering from gum disease, is a sign of approaching Alzheimer’s disease. It was found out that dental bacteria causing gum disease can spread around the whole body and is most likely cause brain inflammation, resulting in dysfunctions like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia like brain disorders. In fact, one of the recent studies by an expert group from the University of California found out that a good dental health, a proper oral hygiene and great teeth condition is linked to reduced risks for Alzheimer’s disease. After collecting and analyzing the data on about 5,500 aging people, the scientists came to the conclusions that a proper dental health can help us reduce our risks for Alzheimer’s disease by almost 65 per cent.