Teeth and Memory Problems
Forgetfulness is often considered a normal part of aging, but a recent study indicates that it may be more closely linked to tooth loss. The research, which was published in the “European Journal of Oral Sciences,” involved nearly 300 participants over the age of 55. The researchers determined that there was a strong correlation between the number of teeth remaining and memory.
Several theories attempt to explain this connection. One suggests that teeth trigger sensory impulses in the brain, and as natural teeth decline, the brain’s sensory input also declines. This can lead to impaired function and poorer memory. Another theory focuses on the inflammation that is associated with periodontal disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. This inflammation can cause neuronal death and memory loss. Other researchers believe that the link may be due to the decreased diversity in the diets of those who have lost teeth. Because many with prosthetic teeth are unable to eat fibrous vegetables and similar foods, their brains may simply not be getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
You may not be able to avoid all tooth loss, but you can reduce your risk by keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Practice good dental hygiene, and visit us about every six months for a complete exam and cleaning. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants or other prosthetics can help you maintain a healthier, more balanced diet. Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our dentist in Northridge.