Are your teeth healthy? Studies have shown that older adults with missing teeth are at higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia. Using dentures may slow the progression of cognitive decline.
Washington, D.C. (Merxwire) – In people’s impression, the elderly are more likely to lose their teeth than the average person. But in fact, tooth loss is not because of old age but insufficient calcium, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. What are the effects of tooth loss? According to an international study, older people who lose their teeth are at higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia.
The researchers searched six database systems for tooth loss and cognitive function studies and performed a meta-analysis of 14 related studies. The analysis showed that 4,689 of the 34,074 participants had cognitive impairment or dementia; those who lost more teeth had an average 48% higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 28% higher risk of dementia. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
The study found that for each tooth lost, and there may be a relative increase in the risk of cognitive impairment by 1.4% and the risk of dementia by 1.1%. As the number of teeth lost gains, the researchers said, the risk of cognitive decline increases. However, the use of dentures may slow the progression of cognitive decline.
In Japan, scientists have also found that people with missing severe teeth have a higher rate of dementia. Studies have shown that the elderly with missing teeth will lose the ability to chew and cannot help the blood reach the brain smoothly through chewing. So the blood circulation in the brain is poor, making them more prone to degeneration and accelerating the course of dementia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed that 80-year-olds have at least 20 natural teeth that usually function. Tooth loss can lead to nutritional deficiencies, chemical imbalances, or affect brain function. If you or a family member has missing teeth, please consult your dentist to avoid further health problems caused by missing teeth.
How do you maintain dental health? In addition to using a toothbrush and floss, regular check-ups, a low-sugar diet, and quitting smoking are all keys to protecting people’s teeth. Some people chew sugar-free gums with added sorbitol and xylitol to prevent cavities, and while this is one of the ways, the most important thing is to keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy.
On the other hand, some studies have pointed out that chewing gum can promote the secretion of saliva, train chewing ability, and increase blood circulation in the brain. Since blood flow to the brain affects how the brain functions, experts speculate that chewing gum can help activate the brain, thereby helping to improve memory or cognitive function.
Have you ever watched a Major League Baseball (MLB) player chew gum during practice or games? Some people think chewing gum during competition is bad manners, but for athletes, it not only helps them relieve stress but also helps them to recover from fatigue and stay awake. All in all, maintaining healthy teeth and oral cavity and training chewing force at the right time may be helpful for healthy aging.