In a recent study, New York University found tooth loss a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia. They also found that with each tooth lost, the odds of cognitive decline grew. An absence of teeth, for example, can lead to difficulty chewing, which can cause nutritional deficiencies or affect the brain. The loss of teeth may also be linked to long-term socioeconomic disadvantages, leading to cognitive decline. Even after accounting for other factors, tooth loss was associated with a 1.48-times higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 1.28-times higher risk of dementia in the elderly. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining good oral health for preserving cognitive function.
- According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth.
- Adults missing teeth were more likely to have cognitive impairment if they did not have dentures (23.8 per cent) compared to those with dentures (16.9 per cent).
- Findings underscore the importance of maintaining good oral health and its role in helping to preserve cognitive function.
“a further analysis revealed that the association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment was not significant when participants had dentures.”