Link between Teeth and Memory
Gap-toothed smiles in children may be adorable, but most adults would prefer to keep their smiles intact. Unfortunately, tooth loss continues to be common in people over 35, and it becomes even more common with age. As you get older, your risk of losing one or more teeth increases dramatically. Unfortunately, a recent study published in the “European Journal of Oral Sciences” revealed that tooth loss can cause more than an unattractive gap in your smile and has linked tooth loss with reduced cognitive function.
The study involved almost 300 people over the age of 55. Researchers found a strong correlation between the number of teeth lost and the degree of cognitive decline. They surmised that chewing sends sensory signals to the brain, and as more teeth are lost, the sensory signals are decreased. They also theorized that the inflammation that is associated with gum disease, the most common reason for tooth loss in adults, could cause neuronal death and memory loss.
While the jury may still be out on what is responsible for the correlation between tooth loss and reduced memory and cognitive function, we do know how to protect teeth. Good brushing and flossing habits along with regular routine dental care can help keep your teeth and your gums free of oral disease-causing bacteria. If you have lost a tooth, Dr. Frame may recommend dental implants, which are the most natural tooth restoration available. Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Frame.
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