Effects of Tooth Loss on Mind and Body
Some common age-related problems may not be a result of simply age alone. A recent University College London study determined that walking speed and memory functions may be closely linked to tooth loss. According to this study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, those who still have some natural teeth remaining experience slower declines in memory and walking speed when compared to those who have lost all of their teeth.
Nearly 3,200 people over the age of 60 were involved in the “English Longitudinal Study of Aging.” The information was gathered by researchers who evaluated patients according to their performance in various tests. Those who had no natural teeth remaining scored about 10 percent worse in both memory and walking speed. Researchers adjusted for other factors, including physical health, pre-existing conditions, depression, smoking, drinking and socioeconomic factors. The link was stronger in those between the ages of 60 and 74 when compared to those over the age of 75.
Researchers have suggested that tooth loss can be a good indicator for decline later in life. Excessive tooth loss may indicate the need for early identification for those at a high risk of suffering from mental and physical decline.
Replacing lost teeth can help reduce the risks associated with tooth loss. While the right restorations can help you maintain a balanced diet and even help you stimulate the bone and nerve tissues in the jaw, these two factors are associated with age-related declines. Preserving your natural teeth as long as you possibly can is important. Good dental care and proper hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of tooth loss in life. Call us today to learn more about how restorative dentistry can help you stay healthy or to schedule your appointment.
Back to Blog