According to a study by the MetLife Foundation, adults over the age of 55 are more afraid of Alzheimer's than any other disease, primarily due to its attack on the human brain, resulting in an inability to recall even the most treasured memories.
Why should a good denturist be concerned about Alzheimer's or dementia in relation to their patients?
A European study involving 273 participants between 55 and 80 years of age showed that the number of teeth a participant has corresponds directly with a 15-20% variance in that participant's ability to recall specific events, recognize specific people/places/things, and identify basic facts that most would consider "common knowledge."
Another study from Japan included more than 4,000 participants aged 65 and older. Similarly, researchers found number of teeth to be linked directly with dementia and/or early-stage of Alzheimer's Disease. Additional studies link cleanliness of teeth with the development of dementia.
Now, researchers and denturists alike must ask themselves - what causes the connection between tooth and memory loss, and what can be done about it?
Possibilities vary. Sensory input from teeth sends signals to the brain (specifically the hippocampus), so fewer teeth will result in fewer signals. An incomplete set of teeth will also inhibit an individual's ability to chew, decreasing blood flow to the brain and influencing food choices, which can limit nutrient intake. Gum infection and disease can cause teeth to fall out and release of inflammatory substances into the brain and the body. When the brain becomes inflamed, more teeth are likely to deteriorate.
All of these changes to the brain - fewer signals, less blood flow, lack of nutrients, and inflammation - can result in memory loss/dementia. In a worst case scenario, these brain changes can result in additional deterioration of the teeth, continuing the cycle.
While dental health may be directly linked to brain health, Canadian Denture & Implant Centres will help alleviate memory-related fears that accompany the aging process. With attention to dental health and regular visits to your denturist at Canadian Denture & Implant Centres, you can be confident in the longevity of your mind and your overall enjoyment of life. For a free consultation, you may contact
our denture experts today.
Our Irrational Fear of Forgetting
Losing your teeth can damage your memory: Those with fewer gnashers are less able to call past experiences
Tooth Loss May Be Linked to Memory Loss
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com